S. Korea To Extend Antidumping Duties On Chinese, Indonesian Paper

South Korea's trade watchdog said Tuesday it has decided to recommend extending antidumping duties on Chinese and Indonesian wood-free uncoated paper for three years.

The Korea Trade Commission said detailed investigation of foreign paper mills and local market conditions indicated that lifting the antidumping duties would hurt local paper manufacturers.

"We plan to recommend 7.7 percent punitive tariffs for Indonesian-made products, while duties for Chinese paper will be set at 2.22 percent to 7.4 percent depending on the manufacturer," a government official said. Because two Indonesian paper mills have proposed to raise their prices by 7.7 percent, they will be exempted, he said.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy holds the right to levy tariffs and almos

always accepts the commission's recommendations.

In November 2003, the government decided to levy antidumping duties of 2.80 percent to 8.22 percent for Chinese paper and 5.50 percent to 8.88 percent for Indonesian products after local companies complained of unfair price cutting. The action expired in November 2006.

Wood-free uncoated paper is used widely for computer printouts, ordinary writing, photocopies and book publishing.

Hankuk Paper Co., Hansol Paper and two other local companies requested an extension of antidumping duties in May 2006.

As of 2006, domestic demand for the paper stood at 934,000 tons and imports accounted for 12 percent, or 112,000 tons.

The commission said it will also investigate illegal price cutting of Chinese clear float and green float glass products, which account for 17 percent of all such imports.

It said nine companies have been singled out for the initial investigation, which should take three months, and the period can be extended by two more months if necessary. South Korean investigators plan to visit the glass manufacturers, the exporters, local importers and users to determine if illegal price cutting is taking place and if it is damaging domestic companies.

Flat glass products are used in building homes and apartment buildings. The Chinese products under investigation are 3 to 4 millimeters thick.

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