Wed, 05 Apr 2000

Steel dumping probe to be completed soon

JAKARTA (JP): The government's anti-dumping agency is expected to complete its investigation into the alleged dumping practices conducted by Japanese, Chinese and South Korean steel pipe producers in Indonesia in one or two months, an association said on Monday.

"The agency is doing a thorough investigation and the results are expected to come in May or June," president of the Indonesian Association of Steel Pipe Producers (GAPIPA) Murbiantoro Soemantoro said at a press conference.

The Indonesian Anti-Dumping Committee (KADI) began investigating the dumping charges after receiving a petition from GAPIPA in August of last year.

GAPIPA complained that its members had lost out to steel producers from the three nations because of their dumping practices.

It called on the government to impose anti-dumping duty on the steel pipe imports from all three countries.

"We hope the government will protect local producers from these dumping practices. We just want to compete in a fair market," Murbiantoro said during the press conference.

He also stated that GAPIPA's members have lost most of the big projects in the country due the unreasonably low prices for steel pipes imported from Japan, China and South Korea.

According to Murbiantoro, the 16 GAPIPA's members had invested US$1 billion in the country but some of them have stopped operations due to their failure in competing against steel pipe imports.

"If the steel pipe producers of the three foreign countries are proved to have conducted dumping practices and the government imposes an anti-dumping duty on them, we expect the local production of steel pipe to rise by about 20 to 30 percent this year," he said.

According to the association's data, the country's steel industry produced 287,837 tons of steel pipe in 1999, as against 246,900 tons in 1998. Most of the output was used to make water pipes, furniture, electricity poles.

Indonesia imported 259,235 tons of steel pipe last year to fulfill the domestic demand which stood at 437,753 tons in 1999.

The association further said that Japanese steelmakers sold their steel pipes in Indonesia for US$535 per ton, compared with US$1,000 per ton sold by them in the domestic market.

The selling price for Chinese and South Korean steel pipe in Indonesia was about 30 percent to 40 percent higher than what it sold for in their home countries, the association added. (07)