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Australian Paper restarts anti-dumping action.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014
By Patrick Howard
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New CEO, Kunihiko Kashima, looks for a reversal of proof to make anti-dumping cases easier to prosecute. According to an interview in industry bible, Pulp & Paper Edge, he maintains that re-evaluating Chinese pricing levels for copy paper suggests a ‘new application will this time be successful.’

'We are currently investing at our Maryvale plant to take … recycled grades from niche to mainstream in the Australian market.' Kunihiko Kashima, CEO Australian Paper.

Bouncing back from a disappointing finding by the Anti-Dumping Commission last year, which declared that imports of copy paper from China ‘were marginally outside the tolerance for dumping,’ the sole local manufacturer of printing and writing paper is preparing to re-launch the action, especially in light of the Australian dollar’s depreciation. Talking with Tim Woods, managing director IndustryEdge, Kunihiko Kashima said; Our view is that in Australia while those administering the system are doing their best, the current regulations around anti-dumping are cumbersome and time consuming.

A reversal in the onus of proof would be a great starting point for improvement. If product is on the shelf in Australia for a price that is dumped, taking into account the costs of getting it there, then that should be evidence that dumping is occurring and the importer should have to prove otherwise.

Australian Paper is seeking to safeguard its Reflex brand, one of the top-selling copy papers in the market. It claims widespread consumer support for the iconic brand, especially in recognition of the social and economic benefits derived by Australia in having a local manufacturing industry.

Cut sheet reams of A3 & A4 now accounts for the largest single sector of printing and communication papers. It is a fiercely competitive market with major equipment manufacturers such as Fuji Xerox and Kodak marketing their own brand copy paper. Even as the competition heats up the overall market in Australia  continues to shrink, down an average of 1.4% per annum over the past decade, mostly due to the advance of digital technology.

Examining what it describes as Australia’s Truly Global Printing Value Chain, Pulp & Paper Edge describes how the printing and communication industry sector severely contracted for the ninth month in a row. Even imports of printed material have begun to decline over the past decades, in most cases.

Attributing cost competiveness in the local printing industry, thanks largely to chronic over-supply of printing capacity, to keeping pre-printed imports at bay, nonetheless the total value of print imports rose by 15% last financial year to just over AUD$1 billion.

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