US slaps preliminary AD duty on steel grating

08:26, December 31, 2009      

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The US Department of Commerce announced Tuesday that some steel grating imported from China will be hit with a preliminary antidumping rate.

The Commerce Department preliminarily determined steel gratings widely used in applications such as industrial floors, walkways and platforms from China are sold at less than fair value in the US market.

The value of China-produced steel gratings exported to the US was estimated to total $90.7 million last year, and the volume rose 538.44 percent from 2006-2008, according to the Commerce Department.

Ningbo Jiulong Machinery Manufacturing and three other companies will be levied with a preliminary duty of 14.36 percent while all other Chinese exporters will face a 145.18 percent antidumping duty (AD), according to an announcement.

Two US companies, Alabama Metal Industries Corp (AL) and Fisher & Ludlow, filed petitions for the antidumping investigation in May.

The determination follows a preliminary net subsidy rate of 7.44 percent on certain steel grating exported by China announced in October by the Commerce Department, which believed Chinese exporters were benefiting from governmental financial assistance.

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) showed strong opposition to the AD imposition on steel gratings Wednesday, saying that the "protectionist" action sent the wrong message, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

The Commerce Department will make a final determination in April next year concerning the antidumping investigation on steel gratings. The US International Trade Commission will then make an affirmative final determination in June.

The AD imposition will impact the interests of US downstream steel product users, while harming the normal steel trade between China and the US, an unnamed official from the MOFCOM was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

Chinese manufacturers believe their steel grating products are not sold at less than normal value. The cheaper price is owing to low labor costs in China and lower prices of raw steel materials used to make steel gratings, a man surnamed Wang from the department of management of Ningbo Jiulong Machinery Manufacturing, which is one of the largest manufacturers of steel gratings in the country and involved in the investigation, was quoted as saying by the China Business News (CBN).

Though the planned AD penalty and the previous subsidy rate on steel gratings increased export costs, it won't likely have a great influence on the company, an insider from the company told CBN.

The company's exports of steel gratings to the US market accounted for a large proportion of its total exports last year, but the proportion this year has declined due to sluggish overseas demand. Currently, the company's steel gratings are mainly sold in China.

The antidumping investigation on steel gratings is not expected to have as great an influence as the cases of Chinese tires and oil well pipes exported to the US that involve several billion dollars of value, said Wang Zhe, a steel analyst at Beijing-based CITICS Securities Research.

Initiating antidumping or countervailing duty investigations on imports of products from overseas conforms to WTO treaties, but the frequent complaints by the US this year are more a reflection of trade protectionism adopted by the US government under pressure from domestic manufacturers and producers, Wang said.

Such investigations aren't likely to end next year, he said.

Source: Global Times
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