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24. November 2006

INDIA: Rubber goods sector seeks review of all dumping levies

Source: Daily "The Hindu Business Line", New Delhi; 24 Nov 2006

Kolkata, Nov. 23
Members of the All-India Rubber Industries Association
(AIRIA), forced to meet their full requirement of all
four types of synthetic rubbers through imports, have
sought a review of all anti-dumping cases, and
withdrawal wherever justified, to protect
competitiveness of Indian rubber products overseas.

AIRIA has particularly sought an immediate review of
duty on SBR-1900, which is not locally produced
anymore.

Briefing newspersons in Kolkata on 22 Nov., after the
association's managing committee meeting, Mr K.T.
Thomas, President of AIRIA and Managing Director of
Paragon Rubber Industries, said the huge gap between
indigenous production and consumption of synthetic
rubbers was now covered by imports. (During 2005-06,
against a consumption of 2,37,495 tonnes, production
was a mere 97,634 tonnes.)

According to the AIRIA president, the Indian rubber
products sector consumes on average 70 per cent
natural rubber, 21 per cent synthetic rubber and nine
per cent reclaim rubber.

Explaining further, he said out of the four types of
synthetic rubbers as made in India, (SBR-1900, HSR,
NBR and EPDM), antidumping duties are levied on three
of them.

Mr Thomas said anti-dumping duty was levied on
SBR-1900 at the instance of Synthetics and Chemicals
Ltd, and the company was wound up some seven years
ago, though the levy still continues. It is learnt
that while levy on SBR-1500 and 1700 has been
withdrawn, that on SBR-1900 still continues.

Asked on EPDM, anti-dumping duty on which was imposed
from July 2006 on an application by Unimers India Ltd,
the sole manufacturer in the country, Mr Thomas said
the quality of the indigenous variety was not up to
the standard and supplies to consumers too were quite
erratic. He said the availability was just 5,000
tonnes per annum against the industry requirement of
around 16,000 tonnes.

The Unimers India plant is now said to be out of
operation owing to a devastating fire at the factory
premises recently, and that the anti-dumping authority
has assured suspension of levy of anti-dumping duty
till such time as Unimers is able to commence full
production.

Pointing out that anti-dumping duty has been levied on
NBR, for which there was only a single manufacturer in
the country, who under any case does not make all the
grades, he said the association has also pleaded for
cut in import duty on natural rubber and NR Latex to a
maximum of five per cent. He said this would enable
Indian manufacturers of rubber goods to outsource the
raw material whenever necessary so that the pace of
development remains uninterrupted.

Mr Thomas, quoting Rubber Board estimates, said the
future annual production growth of NR would be three
per cent against the estimated consumption growth of
5.5 per cent, and coupled with the expected rubber
industry growth from eight per cent to 10 per cent and
projected higher exports, NR production in India may
well lag behind consumption in the coming years.



(Syed Rashid Ali)

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