Beijing – China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA) has issued its response to the European Commission's preliminary decision to impose anti-dumping duties on truck & bus tire imports from China.
The EC determination believes Chinese imports undercut the EU industry’s prices during the investigation period by 21% to 31%, leading to reduced profitability, from 72% to 66.8% for tier 1 and 2 tires respectively including premium new tires and most new and retreaded non-premium tires, and from 15.6% to 13.7% for tier 3 tires covering new and retreaded tires with lower mileage performances and limited retreadability.
However, in its letter the CRIA argues that the tier 1 profitability drop was caused by delayed reflection of rising feedstock prices in tire prices since 2016, and tier 2’s by strong competition among EU tire makers. It believes that, as such, the profitability-drop cannot be deemed as injury.
The association further maintained that Chinese imports are barely present in the tier 1 market, and only a small fraction can be found in tier 2.
Regarding tier 3’s profitability drop, CRIA stated that the EC has shown no causal evidence and the tier’s profitability actually rose from 2015 to 2016, when Chinese imports was at its maximum volume. CRIA also avers tier 3’s 15.6% profitability is unreasonably high.
On the EU industry overall, the letter doubts the EC’s weighting method, claiming it “amplifies the importance of the sampled tier 3 tire makers’ data,” and requires the disclosure of the detailed mathematical model and the EC’s sources of information, such as on tier 3 tires’ sales volume ratio in all tiers.