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China to impose anti-dumping measures on synthetic rubber imported from Singapore, US, EU

Rubber duties could hit global firms operating synthetic rubber facilities in Singapore

BP_halobutyl rubber_200418_4.jpg
Meanwhile, ExxonMobil has been building a new halobutyl rubber facility at its petrochemical complex on Jurong Island, which will add production capacity of 140,000 tons per annum.

Singapore

CHINA will impose temporary anti-dumping measures on a certain type of synthetic rubber imported from the United States, the European Union and Singapore, its commerce ministry said on Thursday.

The measures will be effective from April 20, the ministry added.

An anti-dumping duty is a tariff imposed on foreign imports believed to be priced below fair market value.

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The measures are based on preliminary findings from an anti-dumping investigation the Chinese authorities launched in August 2017.

China's Ministry of Commerce said producers from the three regions were selling halogenated butyl rubber at a discount to appropriate prices, hurting China's domestic industry.

Halogenated butyl rubber, also called halobutyl rubber, provides the barrier layer in vehicle tyres to maintain air pressure without the need for tubes.

A spokesman from Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said the government is following developments closely and engaging with Chinese authorities as well as affected companies.

Stakeholders can submit written representations to the Chinese authorities within 10 days of the announcement.

China's Ministry of Commerce will hold a hearing on the anti-dumping investigations on May 3, MTI added.

The rubber duties could hit global firms operating synthetic rubber facilities in Singapore.

German petrochemical giant Lanxess opened a 400 million euro butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island in 2013. The 150,000 sq m plant was the largest investment in the company's history, and its first venture in Singapore.

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil has been building a new halobutyl rubber facility at its petrochemical complex on Jurong Island, which will add production capacity of 140,000 tons per annum.

An ExxonMobil spokesman said the group is "carefully studying the preliminary findings and will continue our cooperation with the relevant authorities".

"ExxonMobil and its affiliates are committed to operating ethically, responsibly and in full compliance with the laws, rules and regulations of all countries that are applicable to the business," the spokesman added.

Lanxess did not respond to queries by press time.

China's latest move comes amid an escalating trade dispute with the US. Most analysts believe the two sides will eventually reach a compromise and avoid a full-blown trade war.

Earlier this week, the US banned American companies from selling parts to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE for seven years, while China on Tuesday announced hefty anti-dumping tariffs on imports of US sorghum.

China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that local businesses were "substantially damaged" by American sorghum imports.

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