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EU imposes tariffs on glass fibre from China, Egypt over dumping

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will impose tariffs of up to 99.7% on glass fibre producers in China and Egypt that it accuses of selling at unfairly low prices, in a closely watched and rare case involving Chinese companies operating abroad.

The EU will apply tariffs of 20.0-99.7% from Tuesday for the next five years, the higher rate applying to Jushi Group Co. Ltd and Zhejiang Hengshi Fiberglass Fabrics Co. Ltd in China and the lower rate to their operations in Egypt, the EU official journal said on Monday.

The European Commission, which conducted the investigation, found the market share of the producers in China and Egypt rose to 31% in 2018 from 23% in 2015, while their average sales price fell by 14%.

It took input prices and labour costs in Turkey as a guide to establishing a normal price for glass fibre, which has a wide range of applications, such as in wind turbine blades, boats, trucks and sports equipment.

EU producers include Belgium’s European Owens Corning Fiberglas, France’s Chomarat Textiles Industries, Germany’s Saertex and Finland’s Ahlstrom-Munkzjo Glassfibre <AHM1.HE>.

A parallel case is also looking into whether the companies in China and Egypt received subsidies, the EU’s first look into whether Chinese aid is unfairly helping a foreign Chinese subsidiary. It normally looks only at subsidies from the host government. That case is set to conclude in June.

A further two cases, regarding glass fibre reinforcements, centre on Egypt and Bahrain. The Commission will also investigate alleged unfair subsidies received by Chinese producer Jushi in Egypt.

It set provisional duties of 8.7% in that case. Final findings are due in July.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by David Evans)