The Canberra-based Australian Customs and Border Protection Service is investigating whether anti-dumping measures, implemented to stop U.S. manufacturers exporting PVC at prices less than the resin's normal value in Australia, should continue.
Anti-dumping measures currently apply to exports from Japan and the United States, but the measures for U.S. imports expire Jan. 22, 2012.
On March 4, ACBPS invited industry to respond to whether measures imposed on U.S. imports should continue for another five years.
Melbourne-based Australian Vinyls Corp. Pty Ltd., Australia's sole PVC manufacturer, has lodged an application for continuation of the measures. AVC manufactures PVC and wood-plastic compounds and supplies a range of imported chemicals, including caustic soda, PVC processing additives, synthetic rubbers and specialty elastomers.
After taking AVC's submission into account, ACBPS launched an inquiry May 23. Other interested parties have until July 2 to submit written responses. The final report and recommendations will be given to Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor by Oct. 25.
In its submission, AVC said an absence of anti-dumping measures will mean imports from the United States will recur in significant volumes. It claimed U.S. PVC manufacturers are “export-driven” and will seek to supply the Australian market if the measures are removed.
AVC said U.S. manufacturing capacity has increased 10 percent since 2006, but domestic sales decreased because of economic conditions. Consequently, AVC argued, U.S. manufacturers are increasingly turning to export markets to sell their goods to maintain capacity utilization. It said American export volumes have increased 100 percent since 2008.
AVC also argued U.S. manufacturers are exporting PVC at dumped prices to other markets and, if the measures expire, it is likely imports to Australia will also be at dumped prices. AVC compared the import price of U.S. PVC into New Zealand with American domestic prices listed in industry publications and found shipments were at dumped prices 42-79 percent lower than other New Zealand suppliers' prices.
ACBPS said Mexico, China and Brazil have imposed dumping duties against U.S. PVC exporters, which indicates American PVC exporters have a tendency to dump.
Since 1992, Australia has had numerous anti-dumping investigations, continuation inquiries or reviews of PVC anti-dumping measures. Measures have been imposed on many countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the U.S.
The measures are duties that apply when goods are imported, or price undertakings that require exporters' prices to be at or above a minimum price. Prosecution is not an outcome of dumping investigations.