23 June 1997 00:00 [Source: ICB]
The Indian government has accused six of Ansac's US members of operating a cartel in soda ash exports. Ansac is appealing against the decision.
The Indian government has prohibited imports of soda ash by the American Natural Soda Ash Corp (Ansac) after accusing its six US members of operating a cartel. A source at Ansac told ECN that it would be appealing against the decision. 'This is an outlandish decision and we are confident it will be repealed by the Supreme Court of India,' commented an Ansac source.
The investigation was opened by India's Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) in October 1996 in response to an alleged dumping complaint from the Alkali Manufacturers' Association of India (AMAI), a group of Indian soda ash producers. They claim imports of soda ash by the US export association Ansac, were below domestic prices causing injury to the home industry and the closure of several units. Ansac has retaliated saying 'the price was at a level competitive with prevailing market prices'.
Ansac says the Indian court decision follows its attempts to lift an injunction against its imports, in place since 1986. Ansac claims to have made only one 23 000 tonne shipment to India's 1.6m tonne market prior to the imposition of the injunction. Ansac accuses the AMAI itself 'of operating a very close monopoly'. Three of India's producers account for nearly 87% of installed capacity,' claims Ansac. 'Profit margins, around 40% after tax, and prices in India are the highest in the world,' continued the Ansac source.
Ansac has already been banned from operating in western Europe after the European Commission took the view in the early 1990s that export associations are anti-competitive. However, as in Europe, the individual members of Ansac may continue to export to India.
* Meanwhile, the European Commission is expected to take a decision this autumn on the renewal of antidumping measures on US soda ash imports. Existing duties, ranging from 2.513.9%, were imposed on individual US producers in 1995, after alleged dumping during the 1992-93 period.
Solvay, Europe's largest soda ash producer, is no longer supporting the current measures following its acquisition of the Bulgarian soda ash producer Sodi Devnya. Other European soda ash producers are continuing to support the duties regardless.
A source at Brunner Mond told ECN: 'The withdrawal of Solvay's support has not altered our position towards the anti-dumping duties, as Solvay's decision is specific to the current measures.'
The outcome of the European Commission's review this autumn will not alter the industry's position towards future dumping cases, he added.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
Sample issue >>
My Account/Renew >>
Register for online access >>
|ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies|
|Download the listing here >>|
Asian Chemical Connections