Europe buyer, US producer backlash over ethanolamines ADD

25 January 2012 18:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European buyers and a US producer reacted with dismay on Wednesday to news that the European Commission may renew anti-dumping duties (ADD) on US-originated ethanolamines material.

Three European producers lodged a request for a review in October last year as the previous tariffs were set to expire on 22 January.

In a piece in the Official Journal of the European Union about a review into renewing the ADD, the Commission said the request was made "on the grounds that the expiry of the measures would be likely to result in continuation of dumping and continuation of injury to Union industry".

However, domestic buyers and a US manufacturer said the duties are unwarranted and are actually harming competition.  

“The whole issue is a political matter to protect European producers, not European customers,” said one buyer.

European players said that prices in the US are generally around €100/tonne ($130/tonne) lower than at home, and that export numbers are not artificially deflated to sell into Europe.

However, evidence has been provided to the Commission by chemicals manufacturers Germany-based BASF, Switzerland-headquartered INEOS Europe and Hamburg-based Sasol Germany – which together comprise more than 50% of EU ethanolamines production.

In the piece in the Official Journal of the European Union, the Commission said that "prima facie evidence provided by the applicants shows that the volumes and the prices of the imported product concerned have continued, among other consequences, to have a negative impact on the level of prices charged by the Union industry, resulting in substantial adverse effects on the overall performance of the Union industry".

The Commission said that the dumping margin – calculated by comparing domestic prices in the country concerned with the export prices to the EU of the relevant product – is large enough to justify a review.

Duties of some form have been imposed on US manufacturers since 1994, and were most recently renewed in January 2010 at a rate of €59.25/tonne on US-based Dow Chemical, €69.40/tonne on INEOS Americas, and €111.25/tonne on US-headquartered Huntsman and all other companies.

The investigation should be concluded within 15 months – during which time these duties will remain in place – and despite their objections most players are resigned to them being renewed.

“This is ridiculous,” said one European customer.

($1 = €0.77)

For more on ethanolamines visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Amandeep Parmar
+44 208 652 3214

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