The EU says that it has taken on board European footwear producers' concerns over increases in Chinese shoe imports since January.

According to the EU, its executive body the EC is considering the suggestion that the increase is substantially disrupting EU manufcaturers' business, and added that it would be quick to consider any requests from shoe producers for an anti-dumping investigation.

The EU released figures on Wednesday showing a surge in shoe imports from the country since global trade quotas ended at the start of 2005.

Between January and April 2005, China shipped 162 million pairs of shoes and slippers to Europe, compared to just 24m in the same period last year, mirroring similar increases of textile exports to Europe since quotas expired.

EU Trade Commissioner is due to hold negotiations with Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai in Shanghai tomorrow on the subject of its growing export figures to the EU.