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Carib Cement to challenge dumping watchdog

Published:Wednesday | July 14, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL), having won the first round of a fight over Vulcan-made cement, is now questioning the basis of the final ruling by the anti-dumping commission that there was no threat to the local industry and has signalled that it intends to challenge the decision.

The cement maker said its course of action will be determined after review of the commission's 'statement of reasons' which is yet to be published.

The law allows for rulings to be challenged in the Supreme Court, but Caribbean Cement has not said whether it will be going that route.

The Anti-Dumping and Subsidies Commission (ADSC) in April had determined that Vulcan-made cement was being dumped on the Jamaica market at a margin of 59.7 per cent, but in a final determination published July 9, the commissioners said the product posed no threat to the local industry.

Caribbean Cement is the sole manufacturer of the product in Jamaica.

The Rockfort, Kingston-based company is already claiming that waivers on "dumped products" are likely to cost taxpayers J$100 million, but did not offer a basis for the figure, nor say whether it was related only to the cement trade.

At a loss

"Carib Cement is at a loss following the recent conclusion that although the US cement producer Vulcan Materials is exporting cement to Jamaica at less than its sales price in the US, and with a dumping margin of 59.8 per cent and in significant volumes, the ADSC has found that there is no injury or threat of injury to the Jamaican cement industry," CCCL said in a statement on Monday.

"The final ruling contradicts the ADSC's preliminary ruling, which found a dumping margin of 15 per cent and the threat of material injury to Carib Cement."

The company said the commission's ruling was inexplicable in a period of economic contraction and its reasoning that the established margin of dumping was not a significant threat to the Jamaican cement industry and its workers was difficult to follow.

The ruling benefits Tank-Weld Metals - importer of the Vulcan product - whose bottomline, Caribbean Cement said was being fattened by its cement business. The Rockfort company also charged Tank-Weld and its supply partner Vulcan Materials Inc with being secretive about projects for which the imported product was intended.

"Our quota limits us to five per cent of the market share and our customers are E. Phil and Sons, Bouygues Construction, a few contractors and hardwares," said Tank-Weld group Chief Executive Officer Chris Bicknell in response Tuesday.

"Furthermore, CCCL increased their price substantially without any loss of market share," he said.

Caribbean Cement has adjusted prices twice this year to increase revenue on volume sales.