China to impose anti-dumping duty on US, EU, S'pore rubber

A tyre factory in Shandong province, China. The country's anti-dumping move comes amid a trade spat with the US. German petrochemical giant Lanxess' butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island. China's rubber duties could affect global firms operating synthe
German petrochemical giant Lanxess' butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island. China's rubber duties could affect global firms operating synthetic rubber facilities in Singapore. China's Commerce Ministry will hold a hearing on the anti-dumping investigations on May 3, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry said. PHOTO: LXS BTR PLANT
A tyre factory in Shandong province, China. The country's anti-dumping move comes amid a trade spat with the US. German petrochemical giant Lanxess' butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island. China's rubber duties could affect global firms operating synthe
A tyre factory in Shandong province, China. The country's anti-dumping move comes amid a trade spat with the US.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Global firms operating synthetic rubber facilities here could be hit; S'pore Govt monitoring situation

China will impose temporary anti-dumping measures on a certain type of synthetic rubber imported from the United States, the European Union and Singapore, its Commerce Ministry said yesterday.

The measures take effect today.

An anti-dumping duty is a tariff imposed on foreign imports believed to be priced below fair market value. The measures are based on preliminary findings from an investigation the Chinese authorities launched last August.

China's Commerce Ministry said producers from the three regions were selling halogenated butyl rubber at a discount to appropriate prices, hurting China's domestic industry.

Halogenated butyl rubber, also called halobutyl rubber, provides the barrier layer in vehicle tyres to maintain air pressure without the need for tubes.

A spokesman for Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said the Government is following developments closely and engaging with the Chinese authorities as well as affected companies.

China's Commerce Ministry said producers from the three regions were selling halogenated butyl rubber at a discount to appropriate prices, hurting China's domestic industry.

Stakeholders can submit written representations to the Chinese authorities within 10 days of the announcement.

China's Commerce Ministry will hold a hearing on the anti-dumping investigations on May 3, the MTI added.

The rubber duties could hit global firms operating synthetic rubber facilities in Singapore.

German petrochemical giant Lanxess opened a €400 million (S$648 million) butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island in 2013. The 150,000 sq m facility was the largest investment in the company's history and its first venture in Singapore.

Energy giant ExxonMobil has been building a new halobutyl rubber facility at its petrochemical complex on Jurong Island, which will add production capacity of 140,000 tonnes a year. An ExxonMobil spokesman said the group is "carefully studying the preliminary findings and will continue our cooperation with the relevant authorities".

"ExxonMobil and its affiliates are committed to operating ethically, responsibly and in full compliance with the laws, rules and regulations of all countries that are applicable to the business," the spokesman added.

Lanxess did not respond to queries by press time.

China's latest move comes amid an escalating trade dispute with the US. Most analysts believe the two sides will eventually reach a compromise and avoid a full-blown trade war.

Earlier this week, the US banned American companies from selling parts to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE for seven years, while China on Tuesday announced hefty anti-dumping tariffs on imports of US sorghum.

China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement that local businesses were "substantially damaged" by American sorghum imports.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2018, with the headline 'China to impose anti-dumping duty on US, EU, S'pore rubber'. Print Edition | Subscribe