EU PET Duties Proposed Against Iran, Pakistan and UAE

20 Sep 2010 • by Natalie Aster

The European Commission has proposed imposing definitive countervailing duties on imports into the European Union of PET exported from Iran, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

The duties – which, as usual, compensate EU producers for government subsidies or assistance in the exporting countries – would range from 5.1% to 16.7%. These are marginally lower than provisional duties imposed in June – of 5.1% to 17%.

That said, the proposal sent to the EU Council of Ministers for approval couches the duties in Euros per tonne: Iran – €139.70/tonne; Pakistan – €44.02/tonne; UAE €42.34/tonne. This would be to ease administration given the swift fluctuations of prices in global PET markets.

The duty covers PET having a viscosity number of 78 ml/g or higher.

In an inquiry, exporters argued: that the current price of PET from these countries was not harming the EU production industry; the Commission’s calculations had been based on flawed sampling; that exporters had been given insufficient information with which to respond; and other complaints.

However, these claims were dismissed by the Commission, which backed a complaint lodged by the Polyethylene Terephthalate Committee of Plastics Europe, representing more than half of EU manufacturers making the PET covered by the planned duty. Brussels said it recognised its “evidence of subsidisation and of material injury resulting…” towards the EU industry.

Indeed, Commission inquiries concluded that from July 2008 to June 2009, “subsidised imports originating in the UAE sold in the EU undercut the Union industry's prices by 3.2%. [Those from] Iran undercut the prices of the EU industry by 3%. [And from] Pakistan…by 0.5%.”

Exporters also argued that prices had fallen because of low crude oil prices. But this was also contested by the Commission, which said crude prices were volatile rather than low. “This volatility cannot explain why imports of PET were subsidised and therefore undercut the Union producers' prices forcing EU producers to sell at a loss,” said the Commission.

Source: Plastics & Rubber Weekly

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