The European Commission has launched an anti-dumping investigation into certain aluminium flat rolled products originating from China, it said on August 14. The decision was taken following a complaint by European Aluminium. The aluminium industry association has urged EC to follow through with appropriate anti-dumping measures to minimise the harmful effects of unfairly priced Chinese imports.1
“In February this year, the EU already opened an anti-dumping investigation into aluminium extrusions originating from China. With this new investigation into aluminium flat rolled products, the largest share of the aluminium imports is under scrutiny. It’s obvious that Chinese firms aren’t respecting the global rules of free and fair trade and the numbers show they are dumping more and more products on our market. The volumes of excess capacity they have built up are so massive, they could replace the entire European aluminium production,” said Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium.
Flat rolled aluminium imports from China in the EU included in the scope of the investigation increased from 171 kilotonnes in 2016 to 330 kilotonnes last year. In 2019, the market share of these imports from China reached more than 12 percent and had doubled compared to four years ago.
Subsidised aluminium production in China undermines European production, distorts global markets and depresses global aluminium prices, threatening the competitiveness of the European aluminium industry while undermining its sustainability ambitions.2 Furthermore, the influx of dumped products to Europe jeopardises European investments in decarbonisation and recycling, as per the press release.
“We commend the European Commission for opening the investigation, which, together with the ongoing extrusions case, will help ensure the survival of the European aluminium value chain. The EU has given China too much leeway already and still largely remains unprotected against dumped Chinese aluminium products. Now the EU must act decisively and rapidly to ensure the survival of the European aluminium value chain, which is critical to low carbon applications including renewable energy, batteries, electricity systems, resource-efficient packaging, energy-efficient buildings, and clean mobility,” said Götz.
- In its landmark report, “Measuring distortions in international markets: The aluminium value chain,” the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) highlights that Chinese producers are recipients of vast amounts of state subsidies, which stimulates them to increase production and allows them to offer products below production costs on the international market. According to the report, global aluminium companies have received up to USD 70 billion in different forms of support over the 2013-2017 period. Notably, 85 percent of the documented subsidies went to just five Chinese firms.
- The carbon intensity of the primary aluminium production in Europe is approximately 7kgCO2e per kg of aluminium produced compared to a global average of 17kgCO2e per kg of aluminium and a Chinese average of 20kgCO2e per kg. Furthermore, European aluminium production complies with much higher standards when it comes to the environment (e.g. industrial emissions and waste), social and human rights, governance and transparency rules.