China cuts final ADD on SM from S Korea, Taiwan, raises US rate

22 June 2018 06:44 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China has reduced anti-dumping duties (ADD) on styrene monomer (SM) from South Korean and Taiwan, and hiked the levy on US cargoes in its final decision, Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.

The levy to be imposed on cargoes from South Korea will decrease to 6.2-7.5%, while cargoes from Taiwan will have a duty of 3.8-4.2%.

However, cargoes originating from the US - with which it is engaged in an ever escalating trade spat - have a higher ADD of 13.7-55.7%.

The new ADD rate will be effective from 23 June, and will remain in place for the next five years, according to a notice on its website.

Since February 13, cargoes from the three countries have been subject to ADDs of 5-10.7% in the form of a deposit as part of the authorities' preliminary decision.

Country Company Final Levy Preliminary Levy Change
South Korea Hanwha Total 6.20% 7.80% -1.60%
South Korea Yeochun NCC 6.20% 7.80% -1.60%
South Korea Lotte Chemical 7.50% 8.40% -0.90%
South Korea LG Chem 6.60% 8.00% -1.40%
South Korea SK Global Chemical 6.60% 8.00% -1.40%
South Korea All others 7.50% 8.40% -0.90%
Taiwan Taiwan Chemical Fiber Co. 3.80% 5.00% -1.20%
Taiwan All others 4.20% 5.00% -0.80%
US Lyondell Chemical 13.90% 9.20% 4.70%
US Westlake Styrene 13.70% 10.70% 3.00%
US INEOS Styrolution 13.90% 9.60% 4.30%
US Americas Styrenics 13.90% 9.60% 4.30%
US All others 55.70% 10.70% 45.00%

China began its dumping probe on SM in June 2017, ahead of a spate of new SM plants expected to come on line in the country over the next few years.

China is moving rapidly towards self-sufficiency of SM, with China's production capacity is expected to hit over 13m tonnes/year in 2021.

SM demand in China currently stands at around 10m tonnes/year.

The final ADD quantum was as expected as was unlikely to have a big impact on short term trade, sources said.

The change in the duties was not significant enough to warrant a shift in trade flows.

"Taiwan and South Korea will not offer SM to China just because of the lower ADD, they will still try to place spot cargoes elsewhere as much as possible," said an SM trader.

Furthermore, rumors of the final levies were already circulating in the market.

The market initially anticipated the ministry to issue the official notice on 12 June, but it was later postponed due to a review with producers.

"There were no surprises; it was more or less fixed earlier," said another trader about the Friday announcement.

Discussions for CFR China SM cargoes were muted in the morning. SM delivered into China was last assessed at $1,385/tonne on Thursday, unchanged from the previous day.

(Adds market reaction)

By Deborah Lee