The Department of Trade and Industry said over the weekend it imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on specific Portland cement brands imported from Vietnam.
It said it reached decision after conducting a preliminary determination on the anti-dumping petition filed by Republic Cement & Building Materials Inc., CEMEX-Solid Cement Corp./Apo Cement Corp. and Holcim Philippines Inc.
“Preliminary determination showed that 9 of 16 Vietnamese exporters of type 1 cement and four out of 12 exporters of type 1P cement have been dumping cement in the country causing material injury to the domestic cement industry,” the department said.
Dumping occurs when exporters sell their products to an importing country at a price lower than the normal value when consumed in their home market.
Provisional anti-dumping duties on type 1 cement will range from $1.02 per metric ton to $10.53/MT, representing 2.69 percent to 31.87 percent of the export price.
The nine exporters account for 82 percent of total imports of type 1 cement.
Meanwhile, provisional anti-dumping duties on Vietnam’s type 1P cement exports will range from $1.16/MT to $12.79/MT, representing 3.80 percent to 29.20 percent of the export price. These provisional duties are estimated to add P2.01 to P25.08 to the import cost of a 40-kilogram bag of cement, but this is not expected to be passed on to the users due to strong competition from local and other imported brands.
“We do not anticipate that these duties will result in an increase in the retail price of cement because its effect on landed cost is minimal. Any price increases in imported cement will be discouraged by competition from domestic cement producers,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Lopez said “the provisional anti-dumping duties will be imposed only on specific Vietnamese exporters found to be dumping cement to the Philippines. Vietnamese exporters who are not dumping can continue to export cement without having to post the provisional anti-dumping cash bond.”
Finding of DTI’s investigation also showed that during the investigation period, dumped cement imports from Vietnam accounted for 55 percent of total Philippine imports from July 2019 to December 2020. Cement imports from Vietnam accounted for almost 90 percent of the country’s total cement imports.
Under the World Trade Organization Anti-Dumping Agreement, WTO member countries are entitled to impose anti-dumping duties to mitigate dumping-related injury to the domestic industry. The DTI’s provisional anti-dumping duties are equal to the dumping margin, which is the difference between Vietnam’s domestic and export prices. The case will be forwarded to the Tariff Commission for a formal investigation to determine if a permanent anti-dumping duty may be imposed.
Anti-dumping duty is a form of trade remedy to correct unfair trade practices being done by specific exporters/brands and thus, level the playing field in the industry.
Vietnamese cement exports to the Philippines accounted for 46 percent of Vietnam’s world export volume for the period of 2017 to 2020.
According to DTI, local cement makers have enough capacity to meet the requirements of residential, institutional and corporate consumers in the country, including the requirements of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” programs. Further, the competitive environment in the domestic market for cement ensures that pricing and supply will remain stable.
“We do not expect the provisional dumping duties to have an impact on the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program because domestic cement producers have the capacity to supply the requirements of the program’s projects and strong competition among producers and importers is expected to keep prices stable,” Lopez said.
“Nonetheless, DTI will keep a watchful eye on cement selling prices to avoid unjustified price hikes,” he said.