MEXICO CITY — Indelpro SA de CV, a major Mexican supplier of polypropylene resin, plans legal action for what it considers dumping by U.S. competitors.
The firm hopes to reinstitute duties on imports from the United States — 27 percent tariffs on imported PP were removed as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Indelpro is in a ``very difficult situation since PP is being imported at dumping prices,'' Rodolfo Garcia, the company's director of adminstration, said in a telephone interview from his office in Monterrey.
``We have begun the process, and are collecting data'' in advance of asking the Mexican government to implement anti-dumping measures and compensatory quotas.
He said the firm will submit a final document within three weeks to Mexico's Trade Ministry, Secofi.
U.S. suppliers, however, pointed out that prices in the states also have slid this summer.
One official compared it to a 1993 dumping investigation, when suppliers demonstrated that some U.S. firms were selling resin at the same prices in both countries.
``Our director has always said that our goal is to operate cleanly,'' German Priego, marketing manager for Amoco Chemical de Mexico SA de CV, said in a Sept. 12 interview at PlastImagen '97, held Sept. 9-12 in Mexico City.
Garcia said Indelpro's sales have dropped 30 percent since May, and the company is losing market share.
Indelpro is co-owned by Montell Polyolefins, which holds 49 percent, and Grupo Alfa, one of Monterrey's largest corporations, which owns the remainder.
The only other polypropylene producer in Mexico is the government-owned Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, which produces 220 million pounds per year, compared to Indelpro's 440 million-pound capacity.
Garcia said that Indelpro operated at close to capacity in April and May, but is now producing at about 80 percent capacity.
The process to determine whether dumping is taking place can take from eight months to one year, a Secofi representative said Sept. 15. Often a preliminary tariff is placed, followed by a definitive tariff, she added.
Garcia said that if the situation improves, Indelpro may increase capacity in the long term.