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China imposes methanol duty on Sipchem exports

Riyadh, June 27, 2009

Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) said China had moved to impose a duty on methanol imports, but its chief executive said the company saw little impact on its operations.

China said on Wednesday it had begun an anti-dumping investigation into methanol imported from Saudi Arabia and three other countries to assess whether the material had been dumped below production prices.

Sipchem said in a statement on Saturday that China had decided to impose an unspecified duty on methanol imports but gave no details.

"We have an impact no doubt but it is not that significant," chief executive Ahmed Abdulaziz al-Ohali told Reuters, without being more specific.

He said China made up only between 10 and 16 percent of the firm's total exports and Sipchem's global presence would help it to offset the impact somewhere else.

"There is not a significant amount going to China. We should be able to reposition it somewhere in the world," said Ohali.

According to its 2008 annual report, Sipchem made about 1.14 billion riyals ($304 million) from methanol sales in 2008, of which 49 percent was generated in Asia.

Sipchem said China's anti-dumping measures were unfair. "We have been there for three-four years and nothing has changed," he said.

China said its investigation would determine whether the material - used in blended gasoline - has been dumped onto the Chinese market at prices below production costs, and ascertain the losses incurred by Chinese producers as a result.

It said investigations are normally completed within a year, but could be extended another six months in "special circumstances". The other three countries affected are Malaysia, Indonesia and New Zealand.-Reuters




Tags: China | sipchem | methanol duty |

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