WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has levied stiff preliminary antidumping duties against importers of emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber from Brazil, Mexico, Poland and South Korea.
The Commerce Department determination came down Feb. 17, five months after the International Trade Commission voted preliminarily that the U.S. ESBR industry is suffering material injury because of imports from the four countries. The ITC vote was 6-0.
Lion Elastomers L.L.C. and East-West Copolymers petitioned the ITC on July 21, 2016, requesting antidumping relief from ESBR imports. The United Steelworkers union and the International Union of Operating Engineers support the petition, Lion Elastomers said in a press release.
According to the Commerce fact sheet, the agency found a dumping margin of 34.44 percent against Arlanxeo Brasil S.A., the sole mandatory respondent in the Brazilian investigation. It assigned the same margin to all other ESBR producers from Brazil.
In the Korean investigation, Commerce levied duties of 11.63 percent against mandatory respondent LG Chem Ltd. Because mandatory respondents Daewoo International Corp. and Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd. did not participate in the investigation, Commerce levied duties of 44.3 percent against those companies. All other Korean ESBR producers received the 11.63 percent rate.
In the Mexican investigation, the sole mandatory respondent, Industrias Negromex S.A. de C.V.—Planta Altamira, received a preliminary dumping margin of 13.77 percent, as did all other Mexican ESBR producers and importers.
The Polish investigation brought a preliminary dumping finding of 25.43 percent against the sole mandatory respondent, Synthos Dwory, and all other Polish ESBR producers and importers.
With these findings, Commerce will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits based on these preliminary rates.
Lion and East-West alleged critical circumstances against Korean and Brazilian imports, and Commerce found critical circumstances in the case of some Korean importers. Therefore, Commerce will ask CBP to collect duties from Korean importers effective 90 days before publication of the antidumping notice in the Federal Register.
Commerce is expected to make its final antidumping determination on or about July 3. If its final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make a final vote on or about Aug. 15 whether the U.S. ESBR industry is being materially injured by imports from the four countries.
According to Commerce figures, imports of ESBR from South Korea were virtually nonexistent in 2013—just five metric tons worth $12,500. However, those imports grew to 230 tons worth $456,100 in 2014 and 440 tons worth $621,300 in 2015.
Polish ESBR imports did not exist at all in 2013, the agency said, but totaled 2,500 tons with a value of $5.1 million in 2014. They fell to 2,400 tons and $3.4 million in 2015, it said.
Mexico and Brazil were the powerhouses in ESBR imports, Commerce said. Mexico imported 16,400 tons of ESBR to the U.S. in 2013, with a value of $39.3 million.
This grew to 19,900 tons in 2014 with a value of $44.7 million, but fell to 17,000 tons with a value of $25.5 million in 2015.
Brazilian ESBR imports grew from 2,400 tons and $4.5 million in 2013 to 21,300 tons and $40.9 million in 2014, but fell to 15,100 tons and $21.1 million in 2015.
Officials of Lion declined comment on the matter.
Representatives of East-West and the Korea International Trade Association could not be reached for comment.