Row over dumping of cement heats up

17 Dec 2015

Business Report, 17 December 2015
By Roy Cokayne

Johannesburg - A dispute over the alleged dumping of cement in the South African market by Pakistani cement producers has intensified.

The Pakistan government has approached the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to revoke anti-dumping rules imposed by the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) on cement exported from Pakistan and Lucky Cement has applied to the Gauteng North High Court for an order to set aside and declare invalid the imposition of the duties. Itac in May imposed provisional anti-dumping duties of between 14.3 percent and 77.2 percent on Portland cement originating in or imported from Pakistan.

This follows Itac initiating an investigation in response to complaints submitted by a number of local cement producers, including PPC, Lafarge, NPC Cimpor and AfriSam.

Donald Mackay, a director of XA International Trade Advisers and consultants to Lucky Cement, said the case was still pending, but the provisional anti-dumping duties had a shelf life of six months and there were currently no duties in force. Mackay said the application was only likely to be heard if and when the anti-dumping duties were made final.


Foster Mohale, a spokesman for Itac, confirmed that both the trade and industry department and Itac had been engaged in the initial consultations in Geneva under the auspices of the WTO, which were a precursor to the panel review process of the WTO in terms of the dispute settlement mechanism.

Mohale said the application by Lucky Cement was still pending.

Qamar Zaman, the commercial secretary at the Pakistan Trade Commission in Johannesburg, said Pakistan had approached the WTO on November 9 and the Pakistani Ambassador had requested consultations with the South African Ambassador to kickstart the proceedings.

Zaman said Pakistan had approached WTO because they believed the process adopted was not transparent enough and some major issues were ignored by Itac.

“We would like WTO to revoke the decision, if implemented. It is difficult to give any time frame regarding the ruling of the WTO,” he said.

Mohale said Itac had made a final determination and recommendation to trade and industry minister Rob Davies for consideration, who would make the final decision.

He added that in terms of Itac’s anti-dumping regulations, all investigations must be finalised within 18 months after their initiation, which meant that the current investigation had to be completed by February 21.