In March 2021, following an investigation initiated by the European Commission in August 2020, submitted its views on the EC’s intention to levy an antidumping duty on imports of flat-rolled aluminium products from the People’s Republic of China. Duties that were provisionally set to range between 20% and 50%. In this same period, the EU economy was enjoying an impressive upturn following the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s no secret that the various lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 caused production of materials such as aluminium, steel, and wood to grind to a halt, creating a global scarcity of materials. Those lucky enough to be able to source materials were confronted prices that had almost doubled. Flat-rolled aluminium in particular became increasingly difficult to obtain, with delivery times from EU factories getting longer by the week.
The summer of 2021 saw things go from bad to worse. On the one hand there was increasing European demand for flat-rolled aluminium as the economy started picking up again, and on the other insufficient production capacity in the EU. To make matters even worse, this was compounded by the discontinued import of Chinese materials due to the recently announced provisional import duties. The lack of (affordable) flat-rolled aluminium in the EU forced many downstream manufacturers to reduce or even stop production altogether.
Throughout the summer of 2021 EURANIMI and its members went to considerable lengths to keep the EC informed of this worsening situation and provide it with updated market information. Our efforts were not in vain as by early September, the Commission announced it was considering suspending its antidumping measure for nine months. Even more, they would refrain from collecting these provisional duties in the meantime.
On 8 October 2021 the EC delivered a Salomon’s judgement on this case: definitive antidumping measures were to be imposed as of the next day, but these measures would be suspended for a further nine months.
On the one hand, this balanced decision by the EC offered a guarantee of protection against unfair trade practices to the EU-industry; three quarters of which are companies and global aluminium groups owned by non-EU shareholders.
On the other hand, this 9-month suspension of the measure provided temporary breathing space for tens of thousands of suffocating downstream European manufacturers, mostly family-owned SMEs, who barely had access to the flat rolled aluminium products required to maintain their production.
26/03/2021 – EURANIMI’s submission on Case AD668: Anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of aluminium flat-rolled
products originating in the People’s Republic of China
12/08/2021 – EURANIMI response to EC suspension questionnaire