Tue, Jan 02, 2018 - Page 12 News List

China to probe dumping by local chemical firms

Staff writer, with CNA

China has launched an investigation into chemical firms in Taiwan, alleging they sold certain chemicals in China at unfairly low prices, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

In addition to Taiwan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said China’s Ministry of Commerce has accused butyric alcohol vendors from Malaysia and the US of dumping.

Butyric alcohol is a key ingredient in the production of a wide range of petrochemical items such as coating materials, adhesives, textile auxiliaries and plasticizers.

The Ministry of Commerce said the investigation would focus on butyric alcohol from those exporters from Jan. 1, 2014, to June 30 last year, to determine whether the imports harmed their Chinese counterparts. It said the probe is scheduled to end on Dec. 29 this year, but is subject to an extension to June 26 next year if necessary.

The probe was launched by the Ministry of Commerce after PetroChina Co (中國石油天然氣) filed a petition with the ministry requesting an investigation into the exporters.

Taiwan sold US$112 million worth of butyric alcohol to China in 2014, US$117 million in 2015, US$106 million in 2016 and US$54.05 million in the first half of last year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs cited statistics released by China as saying.

During that period, Taiwan was the largest butyric alcohol supplier to China, accounting for between 48.62 percent and 63.64 percent of China’s total imports. In 2016, Taiwan took a 53.09 percent share of China’s total imports, ahead of Malaysia’s 11.33 percent and the US’ 8.05 percent, the data showed.

Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade said it has informed the Petrochemical Industry Association of Taiwan (台灣石化工業公會) and its members about the investigation, urging local firms that would be affected to sign up for a response to China’s anti-dumping probe.

The bureau said the government will provide financial subsidies to affected Taiwanese firms who hire lawyers and accountants to respond to the investigation.

The probe involving butyric alcohol imports is the second anti-dumping investigation initiated by China against Taiwan since June last year, when an investigation was launched into imports of Taiwan-made styrene monomer.

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