India's caustic soda producers file safeguard duty petition

08 July 2009 10:30  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--India’s chlor-alkali manufacturers have filed a petition with the country’s Ministry of Finance, seeking the imposition of a safeguard duty on caustic soda imports, according to the executive director of the Alkali Manufacturers’ Association of India (AMAI) on Wednesday.

The petition was filed on 6 July and the finance ministry was likely to initiate a hearing process to look into the arguments both for and against the imposition of the duty, said AMAI executive director Dr Y R Singh.

"We are looking at a safeguard duty of 20%. But depending on the ministry’s findings, a higher percentage could be imposed," Dr Singh said.

The process could take six months to conclude, but the ministry had the authority to impose preliminary duties after the first 30-60 days, he added.

The proposed safeguard duty would apply to both solid and liquid caustic soda, he added.

India has already imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of caustic soda from numerous countries, including China and Indonesia.

India consumed around 2.3m tonnes of caustic soda a year and had an annual capacity of around 2.9m tonnes, market sources said.

The country's imports of caustic soda have surged in recent months because their prices were lower than those of domestic cargoes.

India's caustic soda imports increased by an average of 5,000 tonnes a month in the first three months of 2009 to around 25,000 tonnes a month currently, Dr Singh said.

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By: Ng Hun Wei
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