European industry warmly welcomes new trade defence measures against dumped Glass Fibre Fabrics from China and Egypt

Axel Jorns, Permanent Representative of CAA srl, Secretary General of Tech-Fab Europe, an association of EU producers of Glass Fibre Fabrics (GFF) said:

“Today, we warmly welcome the European Commission and EU Member States for the imposition of significant anti-dumping duties between 37.6 % and 99.7 % on Glass Fibre Fabrics from China, and 20% on GFF from Egypt. Dumped, subsidised Glass Fibre Fabrics have been flooding the EU at an alarming rate and artificially low prices.  Tech-Fab Europe is particularly appreciative that the decision to impose AD measures on unfairly traded imports of GFF from China and Egypt, shows the Commission and the large majority of Member States, recognise that the EU GFF industry constitutes an essential and strategic part of the EU lightweight industry value chain. It is critical to maintain a level playing field for EU GFF producers.  Indeed, the EU GFF industry – in cooperation with the EU glass fibre reinforcements producers and EU customers – are the global leaders in developing new lightweight products, applications and solutions that are urgently needed by our modern society to address climate change.”

Axel Jorns continued: “We also expect the EU to conclude their anti-subsidy investigation in the coming months, and similarly confirm the definitive findings already disclosed that China and Egypt have been guilty of unfair trade practices.  Taken together these anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures should counter further injury to EU industry, and safeguard a strategic sector for Europe’s future. “

On 21 February 2019, the European Commission launched an anti-dumping investigation against GFF producers from China and Egypt.  EU Member States strongly approved the European Commission’s proposal to impose these measures which are now final and published the Official Journal.

On 16 May 2019 the European Commission also initiated an anti-subsidy proceeding against the same producers.  A final decision is expected in May, and certainly before the final deadline of 16 June 2020.

GFF are a relatively recent innovation, a 21st century light-weight construction material that requires substantial R&D and investment. GFF are used in numerous applications for their combination of lightness and strength, including marine (boat hulls and decks), vehicle body panels (e.g. trucks, trains), windmill blades, pipes and tanks, ski and snow-boards, and leisure vehicles.  More generally glass fibres are used extensively in hospitals in testing equipment and components, medical devices, sterilization cases, syringe filters and diagnostic scanners.

Axel Jorns continued: “EU Glass Fibre Fabrics producers have been losing market share and profitability at alarming rates. This situation is not sustainable. Over 80% of all GFF imports into the EU come from China and Egypt at unfairly dumped and subsidised prices. The EU industry has increasingly lost market share since 2015 to these unfairly traded imports.  At the current rate of EU market penetration by dumped and undercutting Glass Fibre Fabrics, the EU industry will not be able to generate the reasonable profits that would allow them to survive.

Chinese Glass Fibre Fabrics producers have substantial state-subsidised overcapacities. The Chinese glass fibre industries are heavily promoted by the Chinese Government. Chinese Glass Fibre Fabrics capacities increased from approximately 812,000 MT in 2015 to 925,000 MT in 2019 which is more than double the domestic GFF demand in China and five to six times the EU demand. The European Commission found in previous investigations that prices of GFR (glass fibre reinforcements – the main raw material of GFF) are heavily distorted by Chinese government subsidies. Indeed, the European Commission found that Jushi Egypt has indeed been benefiting from substantial subsidies and imposed provisional EU anti-subsidy measures in March 2020 on GFR” stated Axel Jorns.

Related to the Chinese Jushi Group, Hengshi Egypt Fiberglass Fabrics is the only manufacturer of GFF in Egypt. As is Jushi Egypt, Hengshi Egypt is located in the China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone, a special economic zone set up under an agreement between the governments of China and Egypt and controlled by a Chinese government agency to foster China’s outward expansion. Hengshi Egypt and Jushi Egypt receive substantial subsidies both directly and indirectly from the Egyptian Government, including those made by Chinese state-owned banks pursuant to the arrangements between the government of Egypt and the government of China. Since becoming operational in 2016, Hengshi Egypt’s exports to the EU skyrocketed.

For further information contact:

Axel Jorns
Permanent Representative of CAA srl,
Secretary General of Tech-Fab Europe, an association of EU producers of Glass Fibre Fabrics (GFF)
info@tech-fab-europe.eu
Natalia Kurop, Media Adviser natalia@doberpartners.com  

Notes for Editors

In light of alarming market conditions, the European Commission launched an anti-dumping investigation into imports of certain woven and/or stitched glass fibre fabrics originating in the People’s Republic of China and Egypt on 21 February 2019, which was published in the Official Journal 2019/C 68/09. 

The European Commission then followed with an anti-subsidy investigation concerning imports of certain woven and/or stitched glass fibre fabrics originating in the People’s Republic of China and Egypt on 16 May 2019, which was published in the Official Journal 2019/C 167/07.  The investigation will be concluded within normally 12 months, but not more than 13 months of the date of the publication of this Notice (i.e. latest 16 June 2020).

The Glass Fibre Fabric product concerned by this Complaint is fabrics of woven, stitched or woven and stitched continuous filament glass fibre rovings or yarns. There are three representative types of GFF subject to this Complaint: with the following main and overlapping uses:

  1. Woven rovings are used on thermoset applications, especially hand lay-up, for marine (boat hulls and decks), vehicle body panels (e.g. trucks, trains), windmill blades, pipes and tanks.
  2. Non-crimp fabrics are used for the construction of marine (boat hulls and decks), vehicle bodies and panels (e.g. trucks, trains), windmill blades and nacelles, ski and snow-boards, pipes and tanks.
  3. Complex materials are used in closed mould applications for vehicle bodies and panels, marine (boat hulls and decks), windmill nacelles and leisure vehicles.