Europe PET market concerned over EU anti-dumping probe

10 September 2009 17:51  [Source: ICIS news]

(Recasts, clarifying lead)

By Caroline Howard

LONDON (ICIS news)--The European polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market has reacted with concern after an anti-dumping investigation was launched into imports from Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan, sources said on Thursday.

“The European Commission has agreed to open a case against these three countries. The problem is not about imports, as long as importers follow world trade rules and don’t sell at ridiculous prices, which kill the European [producers],” said one producer.

The inquiry, which covers the period 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009, began on 3 September following a complaint by the PET Committee of Plastics Europe on behalf of producers representing over 50% of production in the EU.

The committee claimed that imports from the three countries had “increased overall in absolute terms and in terms of market share”, according to Commission documents.

It also alleged that import prices from the relevant suppliers had impacted negatively on market share and on European prices, thereby “adversely affecting” the financial situation in the EU.

The Commission was expected to make a decision on whether or not to impose anti-dumping duties in December next year.

“It’s good business for us...In December, [customers] will be reluctant to buy because they never know if the duty is about to be imposed. It’s a disaster for customers.

“Imports will probably reduce and there will be more from Oman at even higher prices,” said a competing supplier not mentioned in the investigation.

Customers said they were “worried” about what the result of the campaign would mean.

The European market has experienced a degree of consolidation brought about by companies facing financial difficulties, such as La Seda de Barcelona’s subsidiary Artenius.

On the other hand, there were plenty of other options outside of Europe as well as new capacities coming on stream, an importer said.

“How many countries can we stop? European customers need these imports...European demand will reach around 4m tonnes by 2010 and on the production side [in Europe] I have seen nothing positive so far,” he added.

“Import penetration into Europe is going to be higher and higher with local production not sustainable,” the importer said.

Domestic prices for European product in August were pegged between €930-980/tonne ($1,349-1,421/tonne) FD (free delivered) Europe, according to global chemical market intelligence ICIS pricing.

($1 = €0.69)

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For more on PET visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Caroline Howard
+44 20 8652 3214

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