EU Drops Duty on Furfural from China


The European Council repealed an anti-dumping duty on furfuraldehyde from China, saying in recent years the EUs industry had fully recovered while prices rose on imports of the solvent used in base oil production.

The significant price increase in 2010 and 2011 has dramatically reduced the margin of dumping from the [Peoples Republic of China], said the European Commission, which conducted the latest review of the anti-dumping duty and submitted a report to the EU Council recommending dropping the duty. The repeal goes into effect today, following publication in the EU Journal yesterday. The decision came during an EU Council meeting in Luxembourg.

The European Union defines dumping as exporting a product to the EU at prices lower than the products normal value – 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.

The EU imposed an anti-dumping duty on furfural imports from China in January 1995. After reviews, the duty was extended twice, in 1999 and 2005.

The European Unions current furfural industry consists of two companies, Lenzing AG of Austria and Tanin Sevnica kemicna industrija of Slovenia. Both requested another review in January 2010. In May 2011, EU Council extended the measures for five years, renewing the duty rate at 352 (U.S. $440) per metric ton.

According to the European Commissions report, most market indicators showed the anti-dumping duty aided furfural production, sales volume and sales value by the EUs furfural industry from 2008 to the review investigation period (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011). However, given the substantial increase in prices on the Union market, the Union industry is now achieving profits far in excess of the target profit, set at the original investigation as being 5 percent, to ensure its development, the commission noted, adding that it found no evidence of a parallel increase in costs.

The commission determined that during the period considered, the financial situation of the [European] Union industry has fully recovered from the injurious effect of the significantly dumped imports that were identified by previous investigations originating in the Peoples Republic of China. It appeared that there had been an increase in the prices of imports originating in the PRC caused by the long-term growth in the domestic demand for furfuraldehyde and the rising raw material costs in the country concerned.

Furfurfal 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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