Beijung (AP) — China is investigating imports of U.S. and Russian steel under anti-dumping rules amid a rise in Chinese imports of the metal.
China is looking into a special type of steel used in power transformers to determine whether U.S. and Russian mills sold below market value, according to information attributed to the Ministry of Commerce in a statement Monday.
The case was opened after a complaint in April by the only two Chinese companies that produce such electrical steel, Wuhan Iron and Steel Co. and Baoshan Iron & Steel Ltd.
Chinese steel companies accused U.S. and Russian suppliers of dumping since last year, according to industry analysts.
Russian companies, benefiting from a weak ruble, have been squeezing Chinese rivals with lower prices, said Cui Jingyi, a steel analyst for Guotai Junan Securities in Shanghai.
Wuhan Iron and Steel’s price for electrical steel has fallen by half since last year to $3,000 per ton before rebounding to about $3,700.
China’s total consumption of electrical steel in 2008 was 680,000 tons, about 59,000 tons of which came from the U.S. and 79,900 tons from Russia, according to Chinese news reports that cited unidentified sources in the China Iron and Steel Association, the state-sanctioned industry group.
Imports from those two countries rose 64.7 percent last year from 2007, according to the association.
In April, U.S. producers of steel pipe used in oil and gas drilling filed complaints with trade officials complaining of unfair competition from Chinese imports that they say have flooded the U.S. market.