APIC ’09: Zero tariff boosts ASEAN phenol exports to China

15 May 2009 16:31  [Source: ICIS news]

SEOUL (ICIS news)--The ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries accounted for more than a fifth of China's phenol imports in the first quarter of the year from a measly 3.48% in the same period last year, helped by the implementation of zero tariff on exports to the mainland, market sources said on Friday.

China had taken in 21.67% of its phenol requirements from the ASEAN region in the January-to-March period, they said.

“We see more imports from ASEAN countries because these cargoes enjoy zero ADD (anti-dumping duties) and import tariff,” said a regional producer on the sidelines of the 9th Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC '09) in South Korea.

The 5.5% duty charged on phenol cargoes entering the mainland’s ports from ASEAN countries was removed from 1 January 2009 in accordance with the ASEAN-China free trade agreement.

Phenol imports from Singapore surged 261.5% year on year to 12,203 tonnes in the first quarter based on statistics from the Chinese Customs.

From Thailand's sole phenol-acetone producer PTT Phenol, China received 19,335 tonnes of phenol during the period.

Based on official data, China had significantly reduced its dependence on US phenol, importing just 0.026 tonnes in the March quarter 2009 from from 9,731 tonnes in the same period a year earlier.

“The market for US phenol is disappearing,” said a northeast Asian trader, who added that the hefty duties and long delivery time capped buying interests.

Phenol of US origin is subjected to heavy ADD of 36% and import tariff of 5.5%.

The two-day APIC conference runs from May 14-15.

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By: Liu Xin
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