Wed, Aug 16, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Market for Chinese towels dries up as tariff takes its toll

ANTI-DUMPING DUTY A 237.7 percent duty on towels imported from China has succeeded in protecting local firms, and may become permanent

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Provisional tariffs on Chinese towel imports which the government says protect the domestic towel-manufacturing industry have had a dramatic impact, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

The volume and value of towel imports from China have dramatically declined over the past two months, the ministry said in statement released yesterday.

PROTECTION

The ministry started slapping a provisional 237.7 percent duty on the top of an existing tariff of 10.5 percent on Chinese towels on June 1, citing damage to the local towel-manufacturing industry.

Statistics provided by the ministry's customs department show that the import volume shrank from 776,647kg in May to 195,032kg in June, and declined even further last month to 2,427kg.

The value of the imports has also dwindled, from NT$63.22 million (US$1.9 million) in May, to NT$16.18 million in June and NT$321,000 last month, the ministry's customs administration department said.

These numbers compare with the figures from a year ago, when Taiwan imported 642,303kg -- worth NT$41 million -- of Chinese-made towels in June last year, and 668,540kg worth NT$43 million in July last year.

PRICE INCREASES

The customs department said the unit price has also increased by 60 percent since the provisional anti-dumping duties were imposed, with made-in-China towels costing NT$81 per kilogram in May, rising to NT$83 in June and to NT$130 last month.

This is the first anti-dumping action against Chinese imports since Taiwan acceded to the WTO in 2002.

After receiving evaluation reports from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the finance ministry is expected to reach a final decision on the tariffs by Sept. 12.

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