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Insiders slam S.Africa paper dumping charges

By Song Shengxia (Global Times)

08:24, February 06, 2013

Chinese industrial associations and trade experts on Tuesday refuted dumping charges by South Africa against coated paper imports from China, saying the charges are unfounded and represent escalating trade protectionism from emerging economies.

"Chinese coated paper makers do not dump their products in South Africa or any other countries in the world. The coated paper products are popular in overseas markets for their high quality and good value," Lü Yongsong, president of Guangdong Paper Association, told the Global Times Tuesday.

"Papermaking in China is an industry that involves heavy energy consumption and pollution, which the government does not encourage," Lü said

"As papermaking requires the use of a lot of timber, exports of the products are also not encouraged. How could Chinese manufacturers be dumping their products overseas?" he said.

The Ministry of Commerce announced Tuesday that the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa had launched an anti-dumping investigation into coated paper imports from China and South Korea.

The ministry did not provide further details of the case.

A notice published Friday by the China Paper Association (CPA) said that South African coated paper manufacturer Sappi had filed a complaint against Chinese coated paper makers, accusing them of selling products for less than the fair market price.

"Amid the current global economic slowdown, trade protectionism has spread from developed countries to emerging countries such as South Africa and Brazil, which have sectors such as the paper industry that compete with those in China," Zhao Yongsheng, a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

"The charges aggravate the problems suffered by Chinese coated paper makers, who are suffering from overcapacity and meager profits," a member of staff at the CPA, who declined to be named, told the Global Times Tuesday.

"The charges may encourage Chinese coated paper makers to merge and consolidate to improve their efficiency," the member said.

The US and EU have already imposed heavy anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese coated paper products in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Coated paper is used for high quality printing in the packaging industry and in magazines.

Domestic output of coated paper rose to around 100 million tons in 2012 from 31 million tons in 2000, CPA data showed.

China aims to eliminate 10 million tons of papermaking capacity and limit the total output of paper and paperboard to 116 million tons by 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission said in January 2012 in its 12th five-year plan for the paper industry.

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