LAHORE - The National Tariff Commission (NTC) in Pakistan has decided to impose a definitive anti-dumping duty of 24.04 percent on steel products imported from China for a period of five years effective from Thursday (June 22) to protect local industry from products’ overcapacity.

This anti-dumping duty has been imposed third time on different Chinese steel products by Pakistan during the last two years.

Industry sources said, in Feb 2017, the NTC had also imposed the same definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of galvanized steel coils and sheets from China. The duty, which was up to 40 percent, will also be in force for a period of five years starting February 08, 2017.

In 2015, the NTC had also slapped up to 19.04 percent duties on Chinese cold rolled coils on the same ground.

They said that China is the world’s biggest steel producer accounting for nearly half of the global supplies. Some developed economies have already slapped as much as 266 percent anti-dumping duties on cheap Chinese steel products.

The steel demand in the country hovers around eight million tons against the production of six million tons. Imports meet the demand and supply shortfall. The infrastructure developments, led by $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, are boosting local per capita steel consumption. Presently, around 600 steel mills, including furnaces and rolling mills are operating in the country.

The latest anti-dumping duty rates are determined on C&F value in ad volarem terms. However, said duty would not be applicable on i) non-Chinese billets, and ii) producers who import said goods as inputs in products destined solely for exports.

Pakistan’s National Tariff Commission had initiated an anti-dumping investigation concerning dumping of Continuous Casting Steel (Billets) exported from China on Aug 2015 at the behest of an application lodged by Amreli Steels Limited (ASTL), Agha Steel Industries Limited and ASG Metals Limited.

The commission established that the domestic industry producing CC Billets suffered material injury on account of increase in volume of dumped imports, price undercutting, decline in market share, sales, return on investment, and negative effects on inventories, profits & employment. The commission’s definitive dumping margin expressed as percentage of weighted average adjusted export price stands at 27.17%.

Experts said that CC Billets refer to semi-finished products of iron & non-alloy steel, and alloy steel that are used by re-rolling mills in the production of steel re-enforcement bars, sections, girders, wire rods, beams, channels and other related finished steel products. Also, current Regulatory/Custom Duties on CC Billets stand at 15%/11% respectively.

Experts said the imposition of AD-duty for a period of 5 years is a slight positive for ASTL, as ASTL supplies billets on special orders and hence, could allow ASTL to charge slightly higher prices. Also, ASTL does not procure any billets and melts its own billets in-house. However, for MUGHAL, which procures billets locally due to its inability to melt the required amount of billets in-house on the back of power issues, an AD-Duty on Billets could mean local billet melters increasing their prices as a response to reduced competition from Chinese imports leading to higher cost of purchases for Mughal. The ISL – the sole producer of galvanised coils in Pakistan – had complained in 2015 that Chinese companies were dumping galvanised and colour coated steel coils into the country at below market prices, causing material injury to the local manufacturer.

The company then said price under-cutting led to a decline in sales and profitability in addition to the inventory buildup. According to the ISL, the NTC initiated anti-dumping investigation on August 11, 2015 on the request of domestic industry producing galvanized steel coils and sheets against the dumping of same products from China into Pakistan causing material injury to local industry. Experts said that the imposed anti dumping duty on Chinese steel products is benefitting the local industry as a whole. Especially, local steel mills, which are weighing expansion, will be encouraged to speed up the planned capacity boost.