NEW DEHLI—India's ministry of commerce has proposed increasing custom duties on polybutadiene rubber from South Korea as increased imports have caused "serious injury" to domestic producers.
The decision was in response to a complaint by Reliance Industries Ltd., which argued South Korean exports of synthetic rubber to India had surged as a result of zero-percent duties under the India-South Korean free trade pact.
In a May 12 preliminary ruling, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies recommended a provisional increase in duties to levels applicable on all countries, which stands at 10 percent.
"It is provisionally concluded that increased imports of subject goods have caused serious injury and also threat of serious injury to domestic producers," said the Indian authority.
According to the DGTR findings, South Korea's share of PBR imports to India rose to 54 percent in the fiscal year 2017-18 following the full application of duty concessions under the trade agreement. The figure stood at 37 percent during the 2016-17 fiscal year and 16 percent in 2007-08.
As a result, the Indian authority said, sales of the domestic producer "declined significantly" in the period between April and September 2019 as volumes fell 8 percent year-on-year.
The local Indian sector also incurred losses in the second quarter of 2019-20 fiscal year, according to DGTR.