KARACHI: Cement producers are staring at a major future bonanza that might be about to open up before them. Anti-dumping duties imposed on Pakistani cement by South Africa are scheduled to expire on 17 Dec 2020. Duties, ranged from 14-77%, were placed in 2015.
A notice declaring the commencement of a sunset review of anti-dumping duties has been released by the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) of South Africa, as their five-year terms are due to expire.
Questionnaires will be addressed to all relevant parties and it is hoped that replies will be sent within 30 days of receipt of the letter.
Back in May 2019, the ITAC invited all concerned parties in South Africa to file an application if they felt that the expiry of the anti-dumping duties on imports of Portland cement originating in or imported from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is likely to result in the continuation or recurrence of dumping and injury.”
In August 2020, six cement producers in South Africa responded by calling for the continuity of anti-dumping duty.
‘The claimant argues that the expiry of the duties is likely to result in the continuity or recurrence of dumping and substance damage,’ according to the notice given by the ITAC. ‘The claimant has given ample facts and formed a prima facie argument in order to encourage the Commission to arrive at a fair conclusion that it is proper to launch an inquiry into the sunset review of the anti-dumping duties on Portland cement originating in or imported from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
“According to the ITAC Notice, the South African cement producers make their argument on the “comparison between standard values and export rates. ‘The claimant requested information from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, which publishes weekly Responsive Price Index reports covering a small list of goods, including cement, in the estimation of the usual value for Pakistan.’
The SPI reports record retail prices for eight different cities in Pakistan, as reported in Pak rupees, and records a national weekly average. The official South African Revenue Service (SARS) statistics for the period Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2019 were used in measuring the export price for Pakistan. 43.49pc was estimated to be the dumping margin. On this basis, the Commission concluded that there was prima facie evidence of the possibility that dumping would occur or recur.
The petitioner alleges and has given ample facts to prove that if the duties expire, there will be a rise in imports, a decrease in revenue, undercutting and suppression of costs, a decrease in benefit, production, competitiveness, market share, capacity usage, inventories and growth,” the notice states.
The duty rate levied on Lucky Cement Ltd was 14.29 pc, followed by 77.15 pc on Bestway Cement Limited, 68.87 pc on DG Khan Cement Ltd, 63.53 pc on Attock Cement Ltd and 62.69 pc on all other cement exporters, except the above suppliers.
Pakistan had contacted, but to no avail, the World Trade Organization (WTO) to contest South Africa’s anti-dumping duties.
The share of cement exports to South Africa was 20-30pc in 2015, according to industry estimates, when total exports were six to eight million tonnes.
Sources said only Lucky Cement shipped small volumes of cement to South Africa as the incidence of the anti-dumping duty was 14.29 pc.
Talking to Dawn, a cement producer, who requested not to be called, the cement industry said the situation is being checked and could finalise a plan to battle the case next week.
We depend on the government to address this problem because the anti-dumping duty was levied in Pakistan alone,” he said, adding that a diplomatic push is needed as Pakistan imports large quantities of coal from South Africa to run cement and power plants.”