By: Steve Toloken
May 13, 2014
India’s government has begun a review of the steep anti-dumping tariffs it put on Chinese-made injection molding machines in 2009, after four of the largest Indian press manufacturers urged that the duties remain in place.
The May 9 announcement from India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry said that four press makers with factories in India have asked the government to continue the tariffs — Toshiba Machine (Chennai) Pvt. Ltd., Ferromatik Milacron India Pvt. Ltd., Windsor Machines Ltd. and Electronica Plastic Machines Ltd.
The original decision levied tariffs of up to 223 percent on Chinese-made molding machines, from 40-1,000 metric tons of clamping force, and prompted strong protests from China’s industry and government because it effectively closed India’s market to them.
The Indian government’s announcement of a review was largely expected because the original tariffs put in place in 2009 were due to expire May 12. But it seems likely to set off some strong lobbying in the next few months as the review is conducted.
The Ministry’s statement does not indicate which way it will rule, although it noted that the four companies filed an application “alleging likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping of the subject goods.”
One prominent Indian injection molding executive and trade association leader said he will vigorously push to have the anti-dumping duties removed.
Raju Desai, director of Jyoti Plastics Works Pvt. Ltd., said his cause could get a boost from India's parliamentary elections this month, which are widely expected to deliver the prime minister's office to Narendra Modi.
“We are hopeful of getting [the duties] removed,” Desai said in an email to Plastics News. “We are going to take it up strongly once the new government is in place.”
Desai said prices and delivery times with local machines are not favorable to Indian injection molding companies, and Indian machinery manufacturers do not have as much of a “total solution approach” in their products.
Desai, who is a past president of the All India Plastics Manufacturers' Association, said he expected that Mumbai-based group to lobby in favor of scrapping the duties.
The head of the Plastics Machinery Manufacturers Association of India, on the other hand, has said he expects the government to continue the tariffs.
Mahendra Patel, who is also chairman of Mamata Machinery Pvt. Ltd., said in an interview at the Plastivision show in Mumbai that the Indian industry has "reported very strongly and we have all positive signals.”
Patel could not be reached and an official with the New Delhi-based PMMAI declined to comment.
Reached by telephone, the managing director of Toshiba’s Chennai factory, P. Kailas, said he was not sure what the government would decide. But he said that if the tariffs are continued, the rates of the penalty duties could change.
The chairman of the China Plastics Machinery Industry Association, Borch Zhu, could not be reached for comment but he had said in an interview at the Chinaplas show last month that the Chinese industry opposed the tariffs continuing, although he suggested it could be difficult for the Chinese industry to win.
Zhu estimated that the tariffs raise prices 20 percent for Indian companies buying injection molding machines, and ultimately harm the Indian processing industry.
He is also president of the Guangzhou-based injection molding machinery maker Borch Machinery Co. Ltd.
The Indian government announcement said that companies and interested parties have 40 days from the publication of the announcement to submit comments. Industry officials said it could take several months for a final decision.
One well-placed Chinese industry official said Chinese companies met with their government in early April to prepare.
This source noted that two of the Indian petitioners — Toshiba and Ferromatik Milacron — were global companies that also had factories in China, and were able to benefit from China’s open policies toward foreign equipment makers.
“But now, to protect their private profit, they use the government to close their market,” the source said.
Japan’s Toshiba Machine Co. Ltd. bought the Chennai factory from Indian conglomerate Larsen & Toubro in 2012, and the Ferromatik Milacron India factory is a unit of U.S.-based Milacron LLC. Both companies have said recently they plan to expand their Indian operations.