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China’s Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday it is launching an anti-dumping investigation imports of a synthetic rubber product from the United States, South Korea and the European Union after a request from major petrochemical producers.

The investigation into ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) should be finished by June 19, 2020, but can be extended further under special circumstances, the ministry said in a statement.

The trade measures were launched at the request of Jilin Petrochemical, a unit of China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), and Shanghai Sinopec Mitsui Elastomers Co. Ltd., the statement said. The companies are top producers of EPDM, a chemical product that is widely used for electric cables and tires. In 2018, the United States sold 105,797 tonnes of EPDM to China, while imports from South Korea were 53,413 tonnes. That same year, the European Union exported 25,368 tonnes of the chemical product to China. The data for all three countries were in an application document submitted by the two Chinese companies published on the ministry’s website.

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Total shipments from the three countries and region account for almost 80 per cent of China’s overall EPDM imports, according to the document.

Export prices of EPDM from the U.S., South Korea and the EU were below the prices of the product in their domestic markets, and the dumping into China had caused substantial damage to the applicants, the document said.

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