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EU starts monitoring aluminium imports after U.S. tariffs
April 26, 2018 | 12:40 PM
by Reuters
File photo: Aluminium ingots are seen stored at the foundry shop of the Rusal Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, July 27, 2016. Photo: Reuters
 
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Brussels: The European Union has started monitoring imports of aluminium to determine whether U.S. tariffs have led to a surge in shipments of the metal into Europe, the EU official journal said on Thursday.

Data collected on the quantity and value of incoming aluminium products will help the bloc decide whether to take measures to limit imports.

The European Commission began an investigation last month to assess the need for potential "safeguard" measures for steel. . Steel imports have been under surveillance since April 2016.

The United States imposed import tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium in March, although the European Union and six other countries secured temporary exemptions.



The Commission, which oversees trade policy in the 28-nation EU, believes that the 10 per cent tariff introduced by the United States has increased the risk that more aluminium will be diverted to Europe at depressed prices.

The EU official journal said that aluminium product imports increased by 28 per cent between 2013 and 2017, while prices of such imports fell by 5 per cent.

Significant oversupply has built up since the early 2000s, with most of the new capacity in China, the journal said.

It added that although China exports very little primary aluminium, this has depressed prices of the globally traded commodity.

In the European Union, only 16 smelters are still in operation, compared with 26 in 2008, and a number are at risk of closure, it added.

The surveillance will apply to imports of aluminium exceeding 2.5 tonnes.

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