China is set to probe stainless steel products imported from the European Union (EU), Japan, South Korea and Indonesia to determine if they are being sold lower than the existing market price in the country, a practice known as dumping, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.
The decision comes after Chinese firm Shanxi Stainless Steel, backed by four other companies, urged the authorities to initiate a probe.
The one-year long investigation begun on Monday, although the Ministry said on its website that the probe could be extended for another year under exceptional circumstances.
According to the Ministry, the five Chinese companies, who backed their complaint with concrete evidence, are the major players in the sector, who accounted for more than 50 per cent of the sector’s output between 2014 and 2017.
The authorities would investigate if dumping practices were carried out between January 1 and December 31, 2017, while analyzing possible damage to the industry between January 1, 2014 and March 31, 2018.
The products under the scanner are used as raw material for manufacturing cold rolled stainless steel and as a final product in the manufacturing of ships, containers, trains and also in the energy and petrochemical industry.
In 2017, China had imported 703,000 tonnes of these stainless steel products, a 200 per cent rise from the year before, with 98 per cent of the imports coming from the EU, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.