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No monopoly in stainless steel market: trade ministry

By Anh Minh   September 3, 2019 | 05:44 am PT
No monopoly in stainless steel market: trade ministry
A worker checks steel wires at a warehouse in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China, May 15, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Stringer.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has rejected allegations that anti-dumping duties on stainless steel imports have caused a monopoly in the domestic market.

Steel importers are complaining that Vietnam’s stainless steel market is showing monopolistic signs because of anti-dumping taxes levied on imports from mainland China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan since September 2014.

In the last four years, the price of cold rolled stainless steel has risen by 15 to 25 percent, leading to a rise in importers’ production costs, they said.

Currently, cold rolled stainless steel from mainland China is taxed at 25.35 percent, from Indonesia at 13.03 percent, Malaysia at 9.31 percent and Taiwan at 13.79 percent.

Replying to the allegations, a representative of the Department of Trade Remedies of the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that there was no basis to say that the domestic stainless steel production industry or any individual manufacturer has a monopoly in this product group.

Anti-dumping duties were levied based on inspection results showing dumping behavior from manufacturers from the four economies, which caused significant damage to the domestic production industry. This is a defense measure allowed by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the representative said.

Stainless steel products from the above-mentioned four economies can still be imported into Vietnam without being subject to anti-dumping tax, he added.

Steel imports, including from the four economies affected by anti-dumping duties, had in fact fallen between 2014 and 2016, but rose again in the 2017-2018 inspection period (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018), the department stated, but did not give specific figures.

In the latest period of inspection 2017-2018, stainless steel imports accounted for 57.2 percent of total domestic consumption, of which 31.5 percent came from the four places subject to anti-dumping duties, it said.

Vietnam imported 13.5 million tons of steel of various types worth $9.9 million last year, down 9.8 percent in volume but up 9 percent in value against 2017, the General Department of Vietnam Customs reported.

China continued to be the biggest exporter, making up 45 percent of the total volume, down 29 percent over 2017.

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