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EU Hits China, India With Five-Year Tariffs on Bleaching Agent

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union imposed five-year tariffs against China and India on a chemical used for bleaching to curb competition for Spanish manufacturer Oxaquim SA.

The duties of as much as 52.2 percent punish Chinese and Indian exporters including Punjab Chemicals and Crop Protection Ltd. for selling oxalic acid in the 27-nation EU below cost, a practice known as dumping.

Oxaquim, which accounts for more than a quarter of the EU’s production of oxalic acid, suffered “material injury” as a result of dumped imports from China and India, the bloc said in a decision published today in the Official Journal. The five-year duties, due to take effect tomorrow, follow provisional levies introduced six months ago at largely the same rates.

The five-year anti-dumping duties amount to 43.6 percent on all Indian producers except Punjab Chemicals, which faces a 22.8 percent levy, and Star Oxochem Ltd., which is subject to a 31.5 percent tax, and to 52.2 percent on all Chinese manufacturers except two including Shandong Fengyuan Group, which faces a 37.7 percent duty.

The only difference under the provisional duties was that Star Oxochem faced the maximum rate for Indian producers of 43.6 percent. EU importers of oxalic acid made by Star Oxochem over the past six months will be refunded the difference with the lower five-year rate for the company.

The trade protection is the outcome of an inquiry that the EU opened in January 2011 after a dumping complaint by European chemical industry lobby group Cefic on behalf of Oxaquim.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Stearns in Strasbourg, France at jstearns2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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