India ADDs on LAB imports draw mixed reactions from Iran sellers

Source: ICIS News


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Almost a year after India’s decision to slap antidumping duties (ADDs) on linear alkylbenzene (LAB) imports from Iran, the impact has so far been mixed, with some suppliers having turned away from the Indian market while others have continued despite the hit on their costs.

India imposed ADDs ranging from $23.78/tonne to $300.22/tonne on LAB imports from Iran, Qatar, and China in April 2017.

Since then, the country’s LAB imports have declined, market sources told ICIS, actual volumes were not readily available.

Iran considers India as a major import market.

At least one producer in Iran affected by the levy has turned its attention to other profitable emerging markets such as southeast Asia, Turkey and Africa.

There is a general expectation among buyers in India that the burden of the ADDs should be borne solely by the suppliers.

“Customers expect us to take charge of [the $71/tonne] ADD and we cannot afford to do that,” said an Iranian supplier.

The suppliers hit by the ADDs noted that they will have to incur heavy losses if they were to shoulder the Indian ADDs by themselves.

In the week ended 21 February 2018, LAB prices in India were $1,280-1,340/tonne CFR India.

India’s LAB import prices have been fluctuating at a wider range of up to $85/tonne since the ADDs were imposed.
Before the ADDs were fully in place, the fluctuations had not exceeded $50/tonne.

However, not all suppliers have been put off by the ADD burden.

Some market players in India said that the ADDs have not made any difference since re-exporters are not being required to pay them.

“Sellers have been unfortunately agreeing to take the ADD hit,” commented a local trader.

Another supplier in Iran was believed to have continued to move cargoes to India albeit at higher prices to factor in the impact of the ADDs.

“Our clients have not asked us to cover the levy, but they always take it into consideration when mulling over our offer,” said a seller who also has ADD slapped on his cargoes.

Focus article by Koh Yuanlin