Will EU Drop Furfural Duty?


The European Council yesterday said it plans to review its anti-dumping duty on furfuraldehyde solvent from China because pricing and market changes suggest the duty at its existing level may no longer be necessary.

On May 4, the council renewed the duty at 352 (U.S. $509) per metric ton on furfural, which is used in base oil production. The EU first imposed an anti-dumping duty on furfural imports from China in January 1995. After reviews, the duty was extended in 1995, 2005 and in May 2011. Producers Lenzing AG of Austria and Tanin Sevnica kemicna industrija of Slovenia – which together account for more than 50 percent of EU production of furfural – requested the last review in January 2010.

The European Union defines dumping as exporting a product to the EU at prices lower than the normal value of the product – the domestic prices of the product or cost of production – in its own domestic market. Anti-dumping duties are paid by the importer in the EU and collected by the national custom authorities of the EU countries involved.

In the EU Official Journal July 5, the council said evidence suggests that, as far as dumping and injury are concerned, the circumstances on the basis of which the existing measures were imposed have changed and that these changes are of lasting nature.

Information obtained by the council indicates that, due to the increase in prices of imports originating in the Peoples Republic of China (the country concerned) caused by the long-term growth in the domestic demand for furfuraldehyde and rising raw material costs in the country concerned, the continued imposition of the measure at its current level may no longer be necessary to counteract the injurious dumping.

The council said that a comparison of the normal value of furfural with the current export prices to the EU from China indicates that the dumping margin appears to be substantially lower than the current level of measures.

The EU Council pointed out that Nutrafur SA, the sole EU producer of furfural at the time of the original investigation in 1995, ceased production of the solvent at the end of 2008. Two other producers became part of the European Union industry as a result of the EU enlargements in 1995 and 2004. The new composition of the [European] Union industry, together with the specific nature of the production process applied by the two current [European] Union producers, call for the need to reassess the injury findings, the council stated.

The investigation is expected to be completed within 15 months of the July 5 EU Official Journal notice.

Furfural is obtained by processing agricultural waste. According to the EU Commission, the liquid has two main applications – as a selective solvent in petroleum refining for production of lubricating base oils, and as raw material for processing into furfuryl alcohol, used to make synthetic resin for foundry molds.

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