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Business

DTI probes cement imports from Vietnam

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
DTI probes cement imports from Vietnam
In a notice signed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, the DTI said it has found sufficient basis to justify a probe on applications from Cemex Philippines, Holcim Philippines Inc. and Republic Cement Builders and Building Materials Inc. for an anti-dumping investigation on cement imports from Vietnam.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is conducting a probe on the possible imposition of anti-dumping duty on cement imports from Vietnam.

In a notice signed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, the DTI said it has found sufficient basis to justify a probe on applications from Cemex Philippines, Holcim Philippines Inc. and Republic Cement Builders and Building Materials Inc. for an anti-dumping investigation on cement imports from Vietnam.

“The applications allege that cement products are being imported from Vietnam at dumped prices which cause material injury to the local industry,” the DTI said.

Dumping takes place when an exporter sells the product at prices lower than the normal value in its home country.

Under the Anti-Dumping Act of 1999, the DTI may initiate an anti-dumping investigation following receipt of application from the domestic industry.

Provisional measures in the form of a cash bond equal to the estimated difference between the normal value and export price of the allegedly dumped product, may be imposed after preliminary affirmative determination that dumping took place and caused injury to the domestic industry.

“There are indications that the allegedly dumped imported cement from Vietnam is the dominant cause of material injury to the domestic industry,” the DTI said in a separate report on the initiation of investigation on the application for anti-dumping duty on cement from Vietnam.

Despite the imposition of safeguard duty, the DTI said the total volume of alleged dumped cement imports from Vietnam was computed at 619,980 metric tons (MT) or 31 percent of the total Philippine imports for July to December 2019 and the volume increased to 1.557 million or 62 percent of the total Philippine imports in the January to June of last year.

It said a comparison of the export price and normal value of cement from Vietnam for July to December 2019 indicated a dumping margin ranging from $1.75 per MT to $5.36 per MT or 3.49 percent to 10.66 percent.

For the first semester of last year, dumping margins ranged from $1.66 per MT to $6.54 per MT or 3.31 percent to 14.46 percent.

Another factor that contributed to the material injury suffered by the local industry is price undercutting or the extent at which the allegedly dumped product is consistently sold at a price below the domestic selling price of a like product.

The DTI said price undercutting was at 23 percent in 2019 and 24 percent in the first semester of January to June in 2020.

In addition, the DTI said local producers were unable to take advantage of growth in demand for cement during the period of investigation with the market share of the domestic products declining to 78 percent in 2019 from 85 percent in 2018 as imports displaced the share of the domestic industry.

“The industry suffered loss of market share, declining domestic sales, production, utilization rate, reduction in employment, increased cost of production and inventory,” the DTI said.

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