Australia plans duty on 'dumped' Chinese and Korean towers

AUSTRALIA: The Australian Anti-Dumping Commission has recommended that a duty is imposed on Chinese and Korean manufacturers after initial investigations found they are dumping towers in the market at deflated prices.

Australia's Keppel Prince manufactures towers at its Victoria plant
Australia's Keppel Prince manufactures towers at its Victoria plant

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In response to a claim by Australian manufacturer Keppel Prince, the commission found that Asian manufacturers have won contracts to provide towers at below-cost price in order to establish themselves in the market.

It said that towers were being sold in Australia at 16.2% below the price in the domestic market, with Korean towers coming in 12.1% under the cost in their home market.

The impossition of a duty on tower imports would mirror a move taken by the US in 2012 against Chinese and Vietnamese firms.

The Australian commission did not suggest a level at which the duty should be set at this stage, and is to submit its final report in March.

"It is reasonable at this preliminary stage of the investigation to find that the allegedly dumped prices of wind towers enabled exporters to successfully win domestic contracts by undercutting the Australian industry prices," the commission said in a statement.

Evidence gathered during the investigation shows that while other factors were taken into consideration, price appears to be the major factor in the awarding of contracts.

The commission said: "The lost contracts... caused injury to the Australian industry, representing a significant proportion of the available market."

The total import volume of the towers under question from both countries was more than 6%, the commission said.

Australian manufacturers have also been harmed by price suppression, the commission warned, with companies forced to drop their prices in order to compete with the cheap imports.

Contracts for 240 wind towers were available for tender in 2012. Keppel Prince won 30 and another Australian manufacturer, E&A, provided 20 wind towers. Chinese companies won 56, while 64 went to Korean firms. Contracts for 70 wind towers were awarded to countries other than China or Korea.

In December 2012, the US imposed a duty of up to 71% on turbine tower imports from China and Vietnam following allegations of dumping and illegal government subsidies.

The US Department of Commerce (DoC) hit China with duties ranging from 45% to 71% because of alleged dumping, and duties of 22% to 35% in response to illegal Chinese government subsidies.

The DoC also imposed anti-dumping duties of 51% to 58% on towers imported from Vietnam.

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