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Brazil to probe for dumping


The Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC) has initiated anti-dumping investigations into ceramic dinnerware imported from China. The investigation was prompted by requests from several Brazilian enterprises, which claimed that Chinese companies dumped their dinnerware at a price of $1.35 per kilogram from April 2011 to March 2012, compared with the "normal" price of $4.66 per kilogram, and that such dumping has seriously hurt the local ceramics industry, the news report said, without specifying which firms are involved. The total suspected value of the dumped goods is around $75 million, the China Ceramics Industrial Association (CCIA) said on its website December 20. If the claim is found valid, the Chinese exporters may suffer punitive tariffs from Brazil, the news report said.

The Chinese ceramics industry has recently faced anti-dumping investigations in many places around the world.

The European Union made a preliminary ruling on November 15 that it would levy 26.6 to 58.8 percent anti-dumping duties on Chinese ceramic dinnerware for six months starting November 16, the CCIA said in a separate statement.

Such anti-dumping cases have increased in recent years, owing to an increase in ceramic product exports and a rise in trade protectionism in Europe and Latin America after the global financial crisis in 2008, Xiong Zhijian, an anti-dumping lawyer at Shanghai-based H&Y Law Firm, told the Global Times Thursday.

China exported 25.7 million square meters of ceramic tiles to Brazil in 2010, up from only 148,000 square meters in 2005, London-listed Asia Ceramics Holdings said on its website in March, citing Yin Hong, former secretary-general of the Foshan Ceramics Industry Association in Foshan, Guangdong Province.

Guangdong, a ceramics production base in China, alone exported $110 million worth of ceramic products to Brazil in the first seven months of 2011, up 68.2 percent year-on-year, Asia Ceramics said.

Ceramics production costs in China are comparatively low, so the anti-dumping claims by the Brazilian companies may not be fair if their calculations did not take those lower costs into account, Xiong said.

The total number of trade protection probes in Brazil reached a record of 72 cases this year, far higher than 2011's 25 cases or 2010's 40 cases, the department of economics and commerce at the Chinese Embassy in Brazil said in a statement on its website Thursday, citing MDIC figures.

China is Brazil's largest trading partner. In the first 11 months, China exported $30.2 billion worth of goods to Brazil, up 2.7 percent year-on-year, while importing goods worth $48.2 billion, up 0.5 percent year-on-year, Chinese customs data showed on December 10.

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