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Paper dumping case binned

Tuesday, 18 March 2014
By Nicholas Pond

The Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) pulls the plug on investigation into the alleged dumping of Chinese copy paper into Australia. Sparked by allegations of cheap Chinese A4 and A3 imports hitting the local market as much as 20% below normal market price, the report discovered one major Chinese exporter engaged in dumping but clocked it at a ‘legally negligible’ margin of 0.91%, low enough to dismiss the case.

Australian Paper, Australia’s sole local fine paper mill and producer of the iconic Reflex brand, filed the dumping allegation with the ADC in September 2013, claiming material injury to the company and its business. After months of investigation the ADC delivered its initial report and recommendations late last Friday, revealing its findings did not support Australian Paper’s claims.

In its Statement of Essential Findings (SEF), the ADC identified the five major Chinese exporters of the white uncoated A4 and A3 grades specified in the application as UPM (China), April Fine Paper, Zhanjiang Chenming Pulp and Paper, Sun Paper and Gold Huasheng Paper. The report revealed that during the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013 four of the parties were found not to be engaged in dumping activity while the fifth, Gold Huasheng Paper, was dumping by a technically and legally negligible margin of 0.91%.

Republished with kind permission IndustryEdge, Pulp & Paper Edge

In cases where the dumping margin is less than 2% in respect to a particular exporter, or less than 3% of the total Australian market volume is dumped, the Customs Act requires that the ADC terminate the investigation. While the SEF states its intention to terminate the investigation, it is a preliminary report and interested parties have until April 3 to provide written response to the ADC.

The report places particular emphasis on the activities and importing operations of Fuji Xerox, Lyreco, Complete Office Supplies and UPM Kymmene as accounting for approximately 97% of copy paper imported from China during the assessment period. Subsidiaries of APRIL and APP have also been included in investigations.

The import margins were recorded as:

UPM (China), -0.95% dumping margin
April Fine Paper, -5.51% dumping margin
Zhanjiang Chenming Pulp and Paper, -6.95% dumping margin
Sun Paper Industry Joint Stock, -1.05%
Gold Huasheng Paper/Gold East Trading, 0.91% dumping margin

The latest issue of industry bible Pulp & Paper Edge, published by IndustryEdge, highlights the importance of the issue, noting copy paper imports have spiked in recent years. During the investigation period, imports of uncoated woodfree cut reams (A4 and A3) reached a total of 137.0 kt. Pulp & Paper Edge goes on to state that in the time since 30 June 2013, Chinese imports have continued to account for more than half of all imports each month, averaging 5.7 kt per month.

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