US issues preliminary antidumping decision on PET imports amid tight market

Source: ICIS News

2018/05/01

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin exporters from Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan have sold material in the US at less than fair value, according to the US Department of Commerce’s preliminary determination in its antidumping investigation on Tuesday.

The decision will result in the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) collecting cash deposits from importers of resin from those countries based on the following preliminary rates:

Preliminary dumping rates (%) 2016 resin import values 
Brazil 24.09-226.91 $51.7m
Indonesia 13.16 $35.7m
Korea 8.81-101.41 $24m
Pakistan 7.75 $34.1m
Taiwan 9.02-11.89 $109.8m

Resin importers must post duty deposits starting on the date of publication of the Commerce Department’s decision in the Federal Register, which will be in about a week.

The Commerce Department also made affirmative critical circumstances findings regarding resin from Indonesia, Korea and Taiwan. This requires duties to be retroactively posted 90 days before the Federal Register publication date.

“Commerce’s affirmative preliminary determinations are a great development for the domestic industry,” said Paul Rosenthal, of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, counsel to the domestic producers, in a release. “The imposition of provisional relief will go a long way toward helping the domestic industry begin to recover from the injury caused by unfairly traded PET resin imports from Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan.”

US producers DAK Americas, Indorama Ventures, M&G Polymers and Nan Ya Plastics filed petitions in September with the Commerce Department and the US International Trade Commission (ITC), alleging that PET resin from these countries was being dumped in the US at less than fair value and damaging the domestic industry. Indorama was not a petitioner in the Indonesia investigation.

The Commerce Department then launched its investigation on the resin imports in October, continuing in November when the ITC determined that there is “reasonable indication” that the US PET market was harmed by resin imports from the countries being sold at less than fair value.

Final determinations are set for 17 September. If the Commerce Department makes affirmative final determinations regarding dumping and the ITC makes affirmative final determinations regarding injury to US industry, the Commerce Department will issue antidumping orders.

The investigation has tightened the US PET market, as imports from the countries began slowing significantly starting in December 2017.

ITC data showed January PET imports down by 5.9% month on month and February imports down by 24% month on month.

Resin buyers without strong domestic contracts in place face a tough situation as peak season starts.

Imports are expected to be drastically reduced in the second half of the year, and “what is coming in is extremely high priced”, a source said.

“It’s going to get very tight, if not shortages,” the source said “Supply is the name of the game.”

Still, some domestic supply relief should come when Far Eastern New Century (FENC) starts up the former Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G) plant after the second quarter.

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Major producers of US PET are Indorama, DAK, Nan Ya and Mossi & Ghisolfi.