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The European Union ended a 17-year- old tariff on a chemical substance from China used to make lubricating oils and foundry molds, denying protection to Austria’s Lenzing AG. (LNZ)
The EU scrapped the duty on furfuraldehyde because of a “significant increase” in the prices of imports from China last year and in 2010. The levy of 352 euros ($442) a metric ton was meant to punish Chinese exporters for selling furfuraldehyde in Europe below cost, a practice known as dumping.
The removal of the duty represents a policy reversal after the EU re-imposed the trade protection in May 2011 for five years because of the threat of a recurrence of “injury” to the European furfuraldehyde industry from dumping. Two months later, the bloc said it would review the need for the duty.
“The significant price increase in 2010 and 2011 has dramatically reduced the margin of dumping,” the 27-nation EU said in a decision yesterday in Luxembourg that marks the outcome of the review. “This change is of a lasting nature.” The decision will take effect after its scheduled publication in the EU Official Journal on June 26.
Furfuraldehyde, which comes from agricultural waste, is used as a selective solvent in petroleum refining for the production of lubricating oils and as a raw material for processing into furfuryl alcohol, used to make synthetic resin for foundry molds.
The EU introduced the anti-dumping duty against China in January 1995, reimposed the levy for four years in December 1999, kept it in place after December 2003 while conducting a review of the expiration and then prolonged the measure for five years in April 2005.
Lenzing and Slovenia-based Tanin Sevnica dd, which accounted for all the EU’s production of furfuraldehyde in the 12 months through June 2011, asked in January 2010 for extended trade protection. Three months later, the EU opened a probe that led to the five-year renewal in May last year.
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