Anti-dumping duties on Portland cement

15 May 2015

Pretoria - The provisional anti-dumping duties have been imposed on Portland cement originating in or imported from Pakistan with effect from 15 May 2015.

This follows an investigation initiated by the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) on 22 August 2014 after a number of local cement producing companies submitted an application on behalf of the SACU industry.

A number of companies including Afrisam (South Africa) (Proprietary) Limited, Lafarge Industries South Africa (Proprietary) Limited, NPC Cimpor (RF) (Proprietary) Limited and PPC Limited approached ITAC with sufficient information and established a prima facie case that convinced the Commission to initiate an investigation on the basis of dumping, material injury, threat of material injury and causality.

The initiation was published on 22 August 2014 in the Government Gazette (No 37915), under notice number 675.

However, the application was opposed by some Pakistani cement producers such as Lucky Cement Limited, Bestway Cement Limited, D.G Khan Cement Limited and Attock Pakistan Cement Limited.

While domestically, importers such as Elephant Cement (Pty) Ltd (Elephant Cement); Emzamvelo Trading CC (Ezamvelo), News Steel Works (Pty) Ltd (Newcastle); Picronamix Investment CC (Picronamix) and Anchor Africa Holdings (Pty) Ltd (Anchor) had an opportunity to participate in the investigation.

During the investigation, the interested parties had an opportunity to make comments and submit the information they deemed crucial for the investigation. They also made oral representations to the Commission. All comments submitted within the specified periods of time, were considered by the Commission in making its preliminary determination.

The Commission found that SACU industry is suffering material injury through a decline in sales volume and output as well as profits and cash flow. The SACU industry also experienced price undercutting and price suppression. The Commission further found that a threat of material injury exists given that Pakistan has increased its production capacity; Pakistan`s exports to its traditional markets are declining and imports from Pakistan into SACU increased by over 600% between 2010 and 2013.

The Commission made a preliminary determination that Portland cement originating in or imported from Pakistan was dumped into the SACU market, causing material injury to the SACU industry.

Thus, in order to prevent further injury to the industry while the investigation is underway, the Commission has requested SARS to impose the provisional measures on imported Portland cement originating from Pakistan for a period of six months at the following percentages:

Dumping occurs when companies export their goods to foreign markets at prices (export price) lower than what they charge for the same product in their home market (normal value). When dumping causes material injury to an industry in the market to which the products are exported to, it is considered unfair trade.

Therefore countries are entitled to act in terms of WTO rules and procedures. The idea is to the level the playing field between domestic producers and foreign competitors. Anti-Dumping investigations are conducted in terms of domestic law and consistent with the World Trade Organisation Anti-Dumping Agreement (ADA).