The European Commission has concluded the anti-dumping investigation against flat-rolled aluminum products originating in China and set definitive anti-dumping duties of up to 24.6%. At the same time, it has suspended the measure for 9 months – which poses dangers. Aluminum prices again at more than $3,000 per ton. And the EU is struggling with high energy prices – what to do now.
The European Commission (EC) has confirmed the dumping of Chinese aluminum producers on flat rolled products (AD668). Imports of flat-rolled aluminum products originating in China are now subject to anti-dumping duties ranging from 14.3% to 24.6%. With a few exceptions, such as aluminum composite panels, beverage can body stock and some products that are urgently needed in the automotive industry.
At the same time, however, the EC has suspended the measure for nine months to reflect changing market conditions. Warning: In addition, the EC reserves the right to reverse the suspension at any time should the current market situation change.
In view of the fact that thousands of tons of aluminum flat products have already been ordered from China, we now see the danger that the EC has created the circumstances to get the data to permanently close the borders for Chinese aluminum imports. In light of established dumping margins of up to 88%, that could potentially happen quite quickly.
The entire situation could also have a negative impact on ongoing anti-dumping proceedings relating to steel and stainless steel from China if import figures turn out accordingly.
In view of the negotiations with the United States to settle the trade dispute over aluminum and steel imports, this decision could lead to further complications. Associations have already expressed great concern that Chinese steel and aluminum products could enter the U.S. via Europe in a hidden way.
In addition, on Monday, due to energy shortages in China, aluminum prices again climbed above the mark of $ 3,000 per ton. Also today, Tuesday, aluminum prices on the LME have so far held at more than $ 3,000 per ton. On the SHFE, it goes for aluminum by currently 2% further up.
At present, energy is understandably the big suffering topic in some European sectors – including steel. It also quickly starts the search for someone to blame. And quite neutrally, no one is forced to accept anything.
However, when one of the most important suppliers of natural gas, coal and oil is under constant attack, it is no wonder that it adjusts the conditions in its favor. We therefore see the leaders of the EU member states challenged to enter into constructive talks with the strategically important energy suppliers.
The EU is and will remain dependent on energy imports. The outgoing German government made this more than clear when it declared not only the German but also the European hydrogen strategy a failure and wants to continue to import more than 80% of the national energy requirements by 2050. If the incoming German government, the European Commission and the other 26 member states do not get this straight again, the European Union will end up exporting nothing but morality.