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EU Lifts Polyester Fiber Duties on India, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia

Oct 10  The European Union scrapped tariffs of as much as 35.4% on polyester fibers from India, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia, ending six years of import protection for EU producers including Wellman International Ltd.

The EU said exporters from these four countries no longer dump polyester fibers in Europe’s 1.2 billion-euro ($1.5 billion) market below domestic prices or below the cost of production. The material is used in clothes, bed linen and furniture fillings.

‘‘There is no likelihood of resumption of significant quantities of dumped exports,’’ the 25-nation EU said in a decision released on Tuesday in Brussels. ‘‘The measures should be repealed.’’ The decision will enter into force after the notification.

A group representing European manufacturers such as Italy’s Montefibre SpA and Ireland’s Wellman sought to keep the anti-dumping protection in place after their market share in Europe slipped to 29% in 2003 from 31% in 2000. Other EU polyester-fiber producers include Spain’s La Seda de Barcelona SA and Germany’s Advansa GmbH.

The EU decision will ease market access for producers such as India’s Futura Polyesters Ltd, Indonesia’s PT Panasia Indosyntec Tbk, Thailand’s Tuntex Pcl and Australia’s Leading Synthetics Pty Ltd.

The anti-dumping duties are 12% for Australia, as much as 15.8% for Indonesia, up to 27.7% for Thailand and 35.4% for India.

The tariffs against Australia, Indonesia and Thailand were originally due to lapse in July 2005 after five years and the duties against India were initially due to expire last December after the same period.

The EU agreed last year to consider requests by the European manufacturers—the Brussels-based International Rayon and Synthetic Fibres Committee—for five more years of protection, a step that automatically prolonged the measures during the reviews.

Other nations that are subject to EU anti-dumping duties on polyester fiber yarn are China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Belarus. Malaysia and Taiwan face the threat of duties after the EU opened a probe against the two nations in this past April.

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