BELGRADE – The European Steel Association (EUROFER) is concerned over the possibility of the Smederevo steel mill getting indirect subsidies and cheap Chinese steel being re-exported from Serbia to the EU following the mill’s acquisition by China’s He Steel Group, says Eurofer President Axel Eggert.

Eurofer has initiated a European Commission probe into steel dumping from Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil and Iran as the practice would distort market conditions in the EU, he said.

The Eurofer is concerned about the fact that the Chinese government, which controls or owns a large part of its country’s steel industry, has requested that state-owned companies invest in third countries, said Eggert.

We are concerned about Chinese companies receiving state assistance and the fact that, in this way, indirect subsidies are practically arriving into EU candidate countries, Eggert told the N1 television.

A similar situation could happen in EU member states as well, as there are offers for European steel mills from Chinese steel companies, he said.

That is not allowed in Europe – we are a market economy where state control is not allowed, Eggert said.

In that regard, there is a concern that the Smederevo steel mill might continue to receive subsidies and that Chinese products might also be re-exported via the mill.