The European Union will impose duties of up to 48% on imports of aluminium extrusions from China midway through an investigation into whether Chinese producers are selling at unfairly low prices, Reuters reported.

Separately, romania-insider.com said the US Department of Commerce had set an antidumping duty of 83.94% on aluminium imports from Romanian producer Alro Slatina, according to a preliminary determination.

Citing the EU official journal, Reuters said the duties, ranging from 30.4 to 48.0%, would apply from Wednesday (14 October). The duties are provisional, meaning they will apply until the investigation’s expected completion by April.

At that point, the bloc could apply duties for five years.

Reuters noted the European Commission, which coordinates trade policy in the 27 nation EU, opened an investigation in February into the product widely used in transport, construction and electronics after a complaint from industry body European Aluminium.

Members of European Aluminium include Norsk Hydro, Rio Tinto and Alcoa.

China’s metals association has called the complaint groundless, Reuters added.

The duties will be 30.4% for Guangdong Haomei New Materials and Guangdong King Metal Light Alloy Technology while Press Metal International would see duty of 38.2%.

Other “cooperating” companies would face duties of 34.9% and material from all other companies would see charges of 48%, the Reuters report added.

Meanwhile, romania-insider.com said the Department of Commerce decided to impose antidumping duty of 83.94% on imports of common alloy aluminium sheet from Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey.

“The department’s aluminium sheet investigations constitute the broadest US trade enforcement action in two decades,” said secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross in a press release. “We look forward to receiving parties’ comments on the preliminary determinations that aluminium sheet imports from 18 countries have been dumped, and in some cases unfairly subsidised, into the US market.”

According to the Romanian report, the decision came after US aluminium producers filed a petition with the Department of Commerce complaining about the low rates on aluminium sheets imported from those 18 countries. The department will announce its final determinations in these cases on or about 22 February, 2021.

“If commerce’s final determinations are affirmative, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) will be scheduled to make its final injury determination on or about 5 April, 2021. If commerce makes affirmative final determinations of dumping and the ITC makes an affirmative final injury determination, commerce will issue AD orders. If commerce makes a negative final determination or the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury in an investigation, the investigation will be terminated, and no order will be issued,” the press release said.

According to the department of commerce, foreign companies that price their products in the US market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to antidumping duties. Foreign companies that receive financial assistance from foreign governments that benefits their production of goods, and is limited to specific enterprises or industries, or is contingent either upon export performance or upon the use of domestic goods over imported goods, are subject to countervailing duty duties (CVD).

Romania-insider.com said Alro’s aluminium sheet exports to the US increased significantly, from 1,321 tons (US$4.3m) in 2017 to 10,058 tons ($29.3m) in 2019. The exports to the US represented close to 5% of its sales in 2019 ($588m).

The report said Alro considers the petition as unfounded and the calculations behind it erroneous. The company intends to “vigorously defend its position in front of the American authorities involved”.