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Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai September 14 , 2020
The Union commerce ministry has initiated anti-dumping investigation into imports of certain Chinese flat rolled products of aluminium including foil stock which is used in pharmaceutical packaging following a domestic manufacturer’s appeal for imposition of levy. The probe was initiated by the commerce ministry’s investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) following a complaint by Hindalco Industries, alleging injury to the domestic industry due to the dumped goods.

The DGTR will investigate dumping from fiscal year 2016-17 to fiscal year 2019-20.

The complainant stated that imports are causing threat of material injury, considering significant increase in imports as compared to base year, significant surplus capacities in subject country, high export orientation of producers in subject country, and ability to scale up production in short span. All these factors go on to show that imports are causing threat of material injury to the domestic industry.

“There is sufficient prima facie evidence of injury being caused to the domestic industry by dumped imports of subject goods from China. Hence the authority has initiated investigation to determine the existence, degree and effect of alleged dumping in respect of the product under consideration originating and exported from China and to recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty, which if levied, would be adequate to remove the injury to the domestic industry,” stated DGTR in a notification.

Earlier on May 17, 2017 the finance ministry had imposed anti-dumping duty ranging from US$ 0.69 per kilogram to US$ 1.63 per kilogram on aluminium foil imports from China for five years.

Commenting on the anti-dumping probe into import of aluminium foil among other flat rolled products of aluminium from China, Amit Chawla, director of McW Healthcare said “The aluminium foil is significantly used in pharmaceutical packaging. The anti-dumping duty on import of aluminium foil from China is in force since May 2017. The recent anti-dumping duty probe may lead to extension of levy on imported Chinese aluminium foil. Though we are supporting the government’s move, the extension of anti-dumping duty on imported foil may have consequences for pharma MSMEs of the country who are mostly exporting low value products in the wake of the liquidity crisis faced by them since the COVID-19 outbreak.”

He said the prices of PVC used in pharma packaging have gone up by Rs. 15 a kg since last few months. Earlier it used to cost Rs. 105 a kg, now it has increased to Rs. 120 a kg. The further increase in prices of aluminium foil is expected after DGTR comes out with an anti-dumping probe report thus causing a double whammy to the industry especially MSME players. The increase in prices of packaging materials will lead to rise in cost of formulations. It will put MSME exporters at disadvantage in the global market thus affecting pharma export in the long run, he concluded.

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