Politics

Anti-dumping duties slapped on cement exporters from Vietnam

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THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) has slapped provisional anti-dumping duties as high as 32% on specific Portland cement brands from Vietnam, as these were found to be causing “serious injury” to local cement manufacturers.

In a statement on Sunday, DTI said a preliminary determination showed that nine out of 16 Vietnamese exporters of Type 1 cement and four out of 12 exporters of Type 1P cement have been dumping cement in the Philippines.

The provisional anti-dumping duties on Type 1 cement starts at $1.02 per metric ton (/MT) or 2.69% of the price, to $10.53/MT or 31.87% of the price.

“The nine exporters account for 82% of total imports of Type 1 cement. These provisional duties are estimated to add P2.01 to P25.08 to the import cost of a 40-kilogram bag of cement,” DTI said.

Meanwhile, Type 1P cement exported from Vietnam will be slapped with provisional duties ranging from $1.16/MT or 3.8% of the price, to $12.79/MT or 29.20% of the price.

“These provisional duties are estimated to add P2.01 to P25.08 to the import cost of a 40 kg (kilogram) bag of cement, but this is not expected to be passed on to the users due to strong competition from local and other imported brands,” the Trade department said.

The imposition of anti-dumping duties stemmed from the petition filed by Republic Cement & Building Materials, Inc., CEMEX – Solid Cement Corp. and Apo Cement Corp., and Holcim Philippines, Inc.

The DTI found that dumped cement exports from Vietnam accounted for 55% of total Philippine imports from July 2019 to December 2020.

Dumping occurs when exporters sell their products to an importing country at a lower price compared with its normal value when used in the home market.

Based on the World Trade Organization (WTO) anti-dumping agreement, member countries are allowed to impose anti-dumping duties to mitigate any injury to the local industry.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the provisional anti-dumping duties is not expected to cause a spike in the retail price of cement.

“We do not anticipate that these duties will result in an increase in the retail price of cement because its effect on landed cost is minimal. Any price increases in imported cement will be discouraged by competition from domestic cement producers,” he said in the same statement.

Mr. Lopez said the duties will only be imposed on specific Vietnamese exporters discovered to be dumping cement to the Philippines.

“Vietnamese exporters who are not dumping can continue to export cement without having to post the provisional anti-dumping cash bond,” he said.

Meanwhile, the case will be forwarded to the Tariff Commission that will conduct a formal investigation and check if the anti-dumping duty will be made permanent. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave