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Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002

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Industry & Economy - Anti-dumping

Dumping duty on caustic soda from China, S. Korea

K.R. Srivats


THE Designated Authority in the Commerce Ministry has recommended the imposition of provisional anti-dumping duty on all imports of sodium hydroxide, commonly known as caustic soda, from China and South Korea.

Caustic soda is an inorganic soapy, strongly alkaline and odourless chemical and finds application in various fields such as manufacture of pulp and paper, newsprint, viscose yarn, staple fibre, aluminium, toilet and laundry soaps, detergents, dyestuffs and drugs and pharmaceuticals.

The Alkali Manufacturers' Association of India (AMAI) had filed the petition seeking anti-dumping probe on caustic soda imports from China and South Korea. DCW Ltd, Gujarat Alkali & Chemicals Ltd, Indian Rayon & Industries Ltd, Grasim Industries, SIEL Chemical Complex, Bihar Caustic & Chemical, Jayashree Chemicals, Andhra Sugars Ltd, Bilt Chemicals, DCM Shriram and Punjab Alkalies & Chemicals had supported the petition.

Total imports of caustic soda stood at 93,291 tonnes during 2001-02. Imports of caustic soda from China and South Korea during this period stood at 26,505 tonnes and 12,569 tonnes, respectively. Industry sources said that some of the import transactions were contracted at about $185 per tonne during December 2001. The total domestic production of caustic soda during fiscal 2001-02 stood at 7,11,556 tonnes.

The authority has, in its preliminary findings, recommended that a provisional anti-dumping duty equivalent to the difference between $353.4 per tonne and the "landed value" of imports per tonne be imposed on all producers/exporters of South Korea except Hanwha Chemical Corporation.

In the case of China, the authority has recommended a provisional anti-dumping duty equivalent to the difference between $362.34 per tonne and the "landed value" of imported caustic soda per tonne on Chlor Shanghai Chemical Co Ltd and other producers/exporters. On the indications given by Nalco that the imposition of anti-dumping duty would affect its export competitiveness, the authority has held that there are various schemes under the Exim Policy, which permits imports of goods for export production without the levy of anti-dumping duty. It has highlighted that an exporter could avail of such schemes for the purpose of export production.

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