China imposes ADD on SM from South Korea, Taiwan, US

12 February 2018 05:17 Source:ICIS News

(adds details throughout)

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will impose antidumping duties (ADD) on styrene monomer (SM) of South Korean, Taiwan and US origin starting 13 February, the Ministry of Commerce said in a notice on its website Monday.

In a preliminary decision, authorities concluded that imports of SM from the three origins have caused substantial damage to the domestic market, the ministry said in Mandarin.

The levy to be imposed on cargoes from South Korea ranges from 7.8% to 8.4%, while cargoes from the US will have a duty of 9.2-10.7% levied. Cargoes of Taiwan origin have an ADD of 5%.

Country Company Levy
South Korea Hanwha Total 7.80%
South Korea Yeochun NCC 7.80%
South Korea Lotte Chemical 8.40%
South Korea LG Chem 8%
South Korea SK Global Chemical 8.00%
South Korea All others 8.40%
Taiwan Taiwan Chemical Fiber Co. 5.00%
Taiwan All others 5.00%
US Lyondell Chemical 9.20%
US Westlake Styrene 10.70%
US INEOS Styrolution 9.60%
US Americas Styrenics 9.60%
US All others 10.70%

The ADD will be temporarily implemented in the form of a deposit. The deposit will be calculated as the levy rate of the dutiable value of the goods, with the VAT (value-added tax) rate added on top of that.

China began its probe in June 2017 with the final decision expected to be released June this year.

The ADD investigation came as China's moves rapidly towards self-sufficiency of SM. China's production capacity is expected to hit over 13m tonnes/year in 2020, sharply higher than the current capacity of around 8.5m tonnes/year.

China currently imports around 3m tonnes/year of SM to supplement domestic production. Total SM demand is estimated at around 10m tonnes/year.

Although the preliminary results of the ADD probe were largely in line with expectations, SM discussions in Asia were thin the morning of the announcement as market participants were still digesting the news.

"The CFR China market will be quiet today," said a Singapore-based industry participant.

Activity in the SM market is expected to gradually pick up, as the uncertainty surrounding the ADD decision led many traders to sit on the sidelines.

Bids for a March and April cargoes of non-ADD origin were at $1,410/tonne on Monday morning compared with $1,420/tonne on 9 February.

Asia’s SM prices had been firm leading up to the ADD announcement as cargoes from Japan, southeast Asia and Middle East became increasingly sought after. Prices softened in recent weeks as weaker crude weighed on market sentiment.

Picture: Ningbo-Zhoushan port in Ningbo city, China. (Source: Imaginechina/REX/Shutterstock)

By Deborah Lee