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EU anti-dumping duties put heat on China's ceramics industry


15:42, July 21, 2013

NANNING, July 21 (Xinhua) - Chinese manufacturers of domestic ceramic products are struggling with anti-dumping duties imposed by the European Union in May.

Laotian Ceramics Co., Ltd, a major ceramics maker in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, has lost a huge number of European clients and almost half of its overseas sales.

"The duties are unfair, and we'll push forward with the appeal," said Tian Zhenhua, the company's president.

While opposing the duties, the company is developing new models, hoping that updating its products will enhance its competitiveness in the international market.

In mid-May, the EU imposed five-year anti-dumping duties on China's domestic ceramic products. The tariffs range from 13.1 percent to 36.1 percent.

Ouyang Huangjun, foreign trade manager of Hunan Hualian Industry Co., Ltd, one of the country's biggest ceramics manufacturers, said the duties have not significantly weakened his exports so far, but he believes their negative influence will show in the long run.

"The EU imposed additional 18.3 percent tariffs on us. It will definitely push up procurement costs," he said.

Ouyang's company is now working to tap into emerging economies, including South Africa and South America. It is also developing low-carbon products with higher added value.

Chen Liehan, vice president of China National Arts and Crafts Import and Export Corporation, said the duties will ultimately cast a negative impact on China's domestic ceramics industry, which is worth 2.7 billion euros (3.55 billion U.S. dollars).

"A large number of European-oriented companies will be kicked out in one or two years, and that will be a big blow to China's ceramic industry," he said.

To avoid future losses, Chen suggested Chinese companies familiarize themselves with laws and regulations related to anti-dumping cases.

He said Chinese ceramics companies must enhance the standards of domestic ceramics production in face of the duties, for instance, improving craftsmanship and making high-level products.

Meanwhile, analysts say Chinese companies should pay more attention to building reputable brands in face of the anti-dumping duties.

"The product quality of many Chinese companies could still be improved," said Wang Yaoling, an associate professor with the department of ceramic art design of Tsinghua University.

"Some ceramic manufacturers lack creativity and can only copy others' designs," she said. "They should try to build their own brands instead of just making ceramic products for foreign brands."

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