30 June 2009 04:56 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)-- India’s chlor-alkali manufacturers have begun to draft a proposal seeking the imposition of a 20% safeguard duty on caustic soda imports, market sources said on Tuesday.
The Alkali Manufacturers’ Association of India (AMAI) had been preparing for such a move since at least two weeks ago, a local market player said. The proposal, when completed, would be submitted to the Ministry of Commerce.
Caustic soda imports into India had surged by an average of 5,000 tonnes a month in the first three months of the year to around 25,000 tonnes a month currently, according to local media reports. The Middle East had been a major source for the caustic soda imports, an Indian caustic soda producer said.
Chlor-alkali producers in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the US see India as an attractive export destination as domestic prices there were around $500 (€355)/tonne delivered (DEL) compared to international prices of less than $200/tonne FOB (free-on-board) northeast Asia and $100/tonne FOB USG (US Gulf), traders and producers said.
India has already imposed anti-dumping duties on imports from numerous countries including China and Indonesia.
The main difference between anti-dumping and safeguard duties is that the former is targeted against specific exporters and results in varying rates being imposed. The latter is designed to protect the domestic industry as a whole and results in a flat rate being imposed on all imports.
Safeguard duties are also usually considered a temporary emergency measure that could be quickly approved by the government but would only be in effect for a relatively short period of time, market sources said.
India consumes around 2.3m tonnes of caustic soda a year and has an annual capacity of around 2.9m tonnes, market sources said. The only reason imports are attractive is because their prices are lower than those of domestic cargoes.
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