The Ministry of Economic Affairs made a U-turn yesterday on the imposition of anti-dumping duties on uncoated printing and writing paper from Japan and China, saying the imports did not damage the local papermaking industry.
"From market competition, growth rates of imports, imported prices, overseas producers' capacity and inventories and other factors, we found that uncoated paper imported from Japan and China does not substantially damage the local industry," the International Trade Commission said in a statement.
The result is an about turn on a preliminary report released by the commission in December last year, when it said uncoated paper imported from Japan, China and Indonesia had "substantially disrupted the local industry."
The commission's finding will be submitted to the Ministry of Finance, which is expected to accept the commission's recommendation not to impose duties.
Lin Kuang-nan (林光男), director-general of the Taiwan Paper Industry Association (台灣區造紙工業同業公會) which filed the request for a dumping investigation, said the association was very disappointed at the decision and may file an administrative lawsuit.
Since the commission started to investigate the case, importers of uncoated papers have reduced their imports from Japan and China, and because of this the statistics the commission collected were not credible, Lin said.
Imports from the destinations under investigation dropped by 28 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, he said.
The commission's ruling is an indication that the prices of textbooks may not be raised as had been expected against a backdrop of looming inflationary risk.
Several publishers, especially textbook publishers, had said previously that they may have to raise prices due to the rising cost of uncoated paper, the paper used to print textbooks, magazines and comic books.
They estimated that for every NT$1 the price of paper rises, they would need to increase the price of books by NT$4.8.