(Corrects second paragraph to show import duty would increase by 15 percent, not a new duty of 15 percent)
MEXICO CITY, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Mexico on Tuesday announced new levies for six months to protect its steel industry from a flood of low-priced imports from countries including China.
A 15-percent increase in the duties would apply to five types of products including cold-rolled steel, hot-rolled steel, wire rod, steel sheet and plate from countries that do not have free trade agreements with Mexico, the economy ministry said.
China does not have such an agreement with Mexico.
Mexico said earlier this month it would investigate whether China was dumping steel wire rod into the country following a request from three firms which complained cheap imports were hurting the local industry.
The three companies were ArcelorMittal Las Truchas , Deacero, and Ternium Mexico.
Mexican steelmakers have fretted about the encroachment of steel products from countries ranging from China to Russia that may sell below their cost of production to capture more market share. The rapid rise in imports has left Mexico’s own steel industry with less than 50 percent of the local market, according to Canacero, the steel business chamber.
“We are continuing to work with the Mexican government to avoid having our value chains captured by Chinese industry,” Guillermo Vogel, the president of the chamber, said in remarks at a conference.
In recent months, Mexico has taken several steps to protect the industry, including new import duties, anti-dumping quotas, and enhancing customs controls to enforce the quotas. (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Dave Graham, Bernard Orr)