BRUSSELS, Feb 15 (Reuters) - The European Commission has begun an investigation into whether Chinese producers are dumping steel vehicle wheels into Europe at excessively low prices, the EU official journal said on Friday.
The journal entry said the complainant, the Association of European Wheel Manufacturers (EUWA), had provided evidence that Chinese wheel imports had increased to gain market share, harming EU manufacturers.
EUWA, whose members include units of Jantsa SA, Superior Industries, GKN and Arconic, referred in its complaint to distortions of the Chinese energy market, steel overcapacity and EU trade measures restricting imports of many grades of steel, but not all steel products, to the bloc.
The association says that the European market for steel wheels is worth some 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion), while the market for aluminium wheels is worth 4.5 billion euros per year.
The investigation could lead to provisional duties being applied within nine months and definitive duties, typically in place for five years, in 15 months. ($1 = 0.8871 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop Editing by Mark Heinrich)