Bloomberg News

EU Ends Duties on U.S. Vinyl-Acetate Makers Such as Dow Chemical

January 12, 2012

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union removed tariffs against the U.S. on a chemical used in paints and paper coatings after U.K. producer Ineos Oxide Ltd. withdrew a complaint about price undercutting.

The policy reversal ends duties as high as 13.8 percent on U.S. exporters including Dow Chemical Co. for allegedly having sold vinyl acetate in the EU below cost, a practice known as dumping. Vinyl acetate is also used in such goods as safety glass and glues for furniture and floors.

The EU introduced the levies last August on a provisional basis as part of a probe into whether to impose five-year trade protection, saying Ineos Oxide and Germany’s Wacker Chemie AG suffered “material injury” as a result of dumped imports from the U.S.

Ineos Oxide, which filed a dumping complaint against U.S. vinyl-acetate exporters in October 2010, withdrew the allegation on Nov. 4, 2011, the European Commission, the 27-nation EU’s trade authority, said today in the bloc’s Official Journal. The commission closed the dumping investigation and ordered that EU importers be refunded the provisional duties.

U.S. exporters including Dow Chemical, LyondellBasell Acetyls LLC and Celanese Ltd. expanded their combined share of the EU market for vinyl acetate by 49 percent in the 12 months through September 2010 compared with 2007, the commission said on Aug. 17 when introducing the provisional duties. EU imports from the U.S. grew to 152,445 metric tons from 103,192 tons over the period, according to the commission, which indexed the numbers on total European consumption of vinyl acetate to protect confidential business data.

The levies amounted to 12.1 percent against Celanese, 13 percent against LyondellBasell Acetyls and 13.8 percent against Dow Chemical and any other U.S. vinyl-acetate exporters.

The duties were the preliminary outcome of the EU dumping inquiry opened in December 2010 as a result of the complaint by Ineos Oxide, which accounts for more than a quarter of the bloc’s production of vinyl acetate. Wacker supported the case, the commission said in August.

--Editor: Patrick G. Henry

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Stearns in Brussels at jstearns2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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