Imports from other third countries

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Table 1

Imports from other third countries

Country 2011 2012 2013 Investigation period
PRC Volume (tonnes) [2 843 — 3 205] [967 — 1 378] [1 137 — 1 603] [1 222 — 1 699]
Index (2011 = 100) 100 [34 — 43] [40 — 50] [43 — 53]
Market share (%) 4 1 1 2
Average price (EUR/tonne) 2 251 2 417 2 306 2 131
Index (2011 = 100) 100 107 102 95
Turkey Volume (tonnes) [5 120 — 6 100] [8 090 — 10 553] [11 213 — 14 213] [11 520 — 14 579]
Index (2011 = 100) 100 [158 — 173] [219 — 233] [225 — 239]
Market share (%) 7 11 13 13
Average price (EUR/tonne) 2 950 2 743 2 710 2 571
Index (2011 = 100) 100 93 92 87
Other third countries Volume (tonnes) [3 100 — 3 750] [279 — 750] [1 891 — 3 000] [3 162 — 4 313]
Index (2011 = 100) 100 [9 — 20] [61 — 80] [102 — 115]
Market share (%) 4 1 2 4
Average price (EUR/tonne) 2 878 2 830 2 687 2 406
Index (2011 = 100) 100 98 93 84
Total imports (without Russia) Volume (tonnes) [10 677 — 10 761] [9 037 — 9 902] [14 855 — 16 831] [15 226 — 17 491]
Index (2011 = 100) 100 [85 — 92] [138 — 158] [141 — 164]
Market share (%) 16 13 17 19
Average price (EUR/tonne) 2 750 2 712 2 669 2 505
Index (2011 = 100) 100 99 97 91
Source: Eurostat and questionnaire reply.

(50) One interested party claimed that the Commission failed to separate and distinguish the injurious effects of the imports from the PRC and Turkey, while other interested party claimed that the Commission underestimated the impact of imports from third countries on the situation of the Union industry.

(51) As regard the imports from the PRC, after provisional disclosure it was found that small corrections had to be made to the level of the undercutting of the Chinese imports as stated in recital 118 of the provisional Regulation due to a clerical error. After correction, it was found that the average price of total volume of imports from the PRC to the Union in the investigation period was undercutting the Union industry prices by 10,2% instead of 13% as stated in recital 118 of the provisional Regulation.

(52) In addition, as explained in recital 118 of the provisional Regulation, the import volume from the PRC decreased by [47% — 57%] with a corresponding decrease in market share from 4% to 2%, during the period considered while the prices of these imports undercut the prices of Union industry by 10,2%. On this basis, the Commission concluded in recital 121 of the provisional Regulation that Chinese imports contributed in part to the injury suffered by the Union industry, while they did not break the causal link between the dumped imports from Russia and the material injury suffered by the Union industry. Since the market share of the Chinese imports was low and showed a decreasing trend during the period considered, these imports could not have exerted a significant price pressure on the Union producers to prevent them from increasing prices to profitable levels. The conclusion that the Chinese imports did not break the causal link between the dumped Russian imports and the material injury suffered by the Union industry as per recital 121 of the provisional Regulation is thus confirmed.

(53) Regarding imports from Turkey, as explained in recital 119 of the provisional Regulation, they showed an increasing trend during the period considered and reached a market share of 13% in the investigation period due to a higher demand on the Union market, which Union producers were not able to satisfy as explained in recital 35. However, Turkish import prices even though they decreased by 13% over the period considered, were at similar levels as the Union industry’s prices and significantly above the price level of the Russian imports. Even if the market share of the Turkish imports had an increasing trend, given their similar levels to the Union industry’s prices (sometimes even higher), they could not have exerted a significant price pressure on the Union producers to prevent them from increasing their prices to profitable levels. Consequently, the conclusion that Turkish imports did not break the link between the dumped Russian imports and the material injury suffered by the Union industry is hereby confirmed.

(54) Following final disclosure, one interested party reiterated its claim from the provisional stage that the Commission did not separate and distinguish the injurious effects of the imports from Turkey. It also claimed that the increasing volume of Turkish imports injured the Union industry in terms of market share and capacity utilisation and therefore allegedly broke the causal link between the imports from Russia and the material injury suffered by the Union industry.

(55) It is correct that the market share of the Turkish imports increased during the period considered while the market share of the Union industry decreased. However, the Turkish imports represented a market share of 13% in the investigation period while the market share of the Russian imports was 34%. In addition, the Turkish prices were at the same level as the prices of the Union industry while the Russian imports were undercutting the Union industry prices by [3% — 7%]. In addition, it is highlighted that it is not sustainable for a loss making industry, such as the AHF industry, to continuously increase its volume of sales while incurring losses in the same time. The industry needs first to increase its prices above cost-covering levels before increasing even more its volume of sales. However, this was not possible due to the price pressure exerted by the dumped imports from Russia in significant volumes. Therefore, the claim that the Turkish imports broke the causal link between the imports from Russia and the material injury suffered by the Union industry was rejected.

(56) It was further claimed that the Turkish import prices are higher than the Russian import prices as the Turkish producers specialise and focus their exports to the Union market on thinner foil between 0,008 — 0,009 mm which the Russian producer does not export to the Union market. This claim was not supported by any evidence and therefore it was rejected.

(57) As concerns the imports from the remaining third countries, their volume decreased between 2011 and 2013 by [20% — 39%] and then increased by [2% — 15%] at the end of the investigation period. As explained in recital 120 of the provisional Regulation, their market share decreased from 4% in 2011 to 2% in 2013 and then increased to 4% at the end of the investigation period. As also outlined in the same recital of the provisional Regulation their prices were at lower levels than the Union industry’s sales prices, with the exception of 2012, but higher than the Russian import prices throughout the period considered. Therefore, imports from other third countries could not have exerted such a significant price pressure on the Union producers as to prevent them from increasing the prices to profitable levels. Consequently, the conclusion that the imports from other third countries did not break the causal link between the dumped Russian imports and the material injury suffered by the Union industry is hereby confirmed.

(58) In the absence of any other comments the conclusions reached in recitals 117 to 122 of the provisional Regulation were therefore confirmed.

 

2.2. Development of Union consumption

(59) Following provisional disclosure, two interested parties claimed that the Union industry failed to meet the growing consumption in spite of the investments made to increase production capacity, which allegedly caused the material injury suffered.

(60) Firstly, the party did not explain how an increase in consumption in the Union as such could have had a negative impact on the Union industry and thus break the causal link between the dumped imports from Russia and the material injury suffered by the Union industry. To the contrary, under normal conditions of competition, i.e. in the absence of dumped imports, the Union industry could reasonably be expected to benefit from the increase in consumption.

(61) Secondly, the Russian imports were able to increase their market share by 5 percentage points, while the Union producers lost 8 percentage points of their market share, i.e. it decreased from 55% to 47% in the period considered.

(62) In addition, as explained in recital 78 of the provisional Regulation, the Union producers made efforts to increase production capacity but this was limited by their difficult financial situation. The relatively low level of investments was due to the difficult financial situation of the Union industry, which in itself was caused by the dumped imports. Furthermore, even though the production capacity of the Union industry slightly increased during the period considered, the capacity utilisation decreased because of the low priced dumped Russian imports. In addition, the Union industry’s production volume slightly increased and its market share decreased continuously throughout the period considered. Therefore, this cannot be considered as a cause of the material injury suffered by the Union industry. These claims were therefore rejected.

(63) In the absence of any other comment in this regard, the conclusions reached in recitals 123 to 125 of the provisional Regulation were confirmed.

 

2.3. Export performance of the Union industry

(64) In the absence of any comments regarding the effect of the Union industry’s export performance, the conclusions reached in recitals 126 to 128 were confirmed.

 

2.4. The activity of the Union industry in the aluminium converters foils (ACF) market

(65) After provisional disclosure, one party claimed that the Commission failed to give consideration to ACF as other factor. It reiterated its claim that some Union producers chose to increase the production and sale of the more lucrative ACF product at the expense of AHF production. It also argued that the Commission failed to consider the impact of the production and sales of ACF and its economic situation on the overall economic situation of the Union industry for AHF. This claim was reiterated following final disclosure without any new information.

(66) As explained in recital 81 of the provisional Regulation, several Union producers manufactured both AHF and ACF, while the largest sampled producer of AHF did not produce ACF during the investigation period. In addition, the investigation has shown that the sampled Union producers had a stable ratio of production between the two types of foils and therefore it was concluded that there was no switch of the Union industry to the production of ACF to the detriment of AHF. In any event, in case such a switch had happened, it would have been rather an effect of the dumped imports from Russia which continuously put a significant price pressure on AHF that prevented the Union producers from increasing prices to profitable levels. Moreover, the investigation showed that the trend in profitability of the product concerned is comparable across the sampled companies, irrespective of the share of AHF and ACF production in their total production. The claim described in recital 65 is therefore rejected.

(67) In the absence of any other comment in this regard, the conclusions set out in recitals 129 to 132 of the provisional Regulation are hereby confirmed.

 

2.5. Cost of raw materials

(68) After provisional disclosure, the Russian authorities disagreed with the Commission’s conclusion that the price development of aluminium quoted at the London Metal Exchange (LME) did not have a bearing on the fact that Russian import prices were undercutting the Union industry’s selling price and were exerting a price pressure on the Union market, which did not allow the Union industry to increase their selling price to a level that would have covered the cost of production.

(69) As it was explained in recital 136 of the provisional Regulation, the investigation has showed that both, the Union industry and the Russian exporting producers bore comparable costs when sourcing aluminium to manufacture AHF, as the market prices of aluminium in both, Russia and the Union, were directly linked to the LME. In addition, while sales prices of the Union industry as well as import prices from Russia of AHF were decreasing following the price development of aluminium quoted at LME, the investigation established that Russian import prices of AHF were constantly lower than the Union industry’s prices during the period considered and undercut them by [3% — 7%] during the investigation period. Moreover, the Union industry sales prices of AHF did not cover the unit cost of production even though unit cost of production decreased. This was due to the price pressure exerted by the dumped imports in significant volumes undercutting the Union industry’s sales prices which did not allow the Union industry to increase its sales prices and did therefore not allow them to benefit from the decrease in the raw material costs.

(70) Following final disclosure, the Russian authorities reiterated their claim that the price pressure on the Union market was exercised by the LME aluminium prices instead of the Russian AHF imports, without bringing new evidence in this regard. Therefore, this claim was rejected.

(71) In the absence of any other comment in this regard, the conclusions set out in recitals 133 to 136 of the provisional Regulation are hereby confirmed.

 

2.6. Cumulated effects of other factors

(72) After provisional disclosure, one interested party claimed that the Commission failed to provide an assessment of the cumulated effects of all other factors without, however, specifying the legal basis for its claim or explaining how, under the facts of this case, this could have resulted in the attribution of injury resulting from other factors to the Russian dumped imports.

(73) Firstly, the basic Regulation does not require the Commission to conduct an assessment of the cumulated effects of other factors when analysing the impact of these factors. Secondly, in the present case, the Commission was able to properly distinguish and separate the effects of all other known factors individually on the situation of the Union industry from the injurious effects of the Russian dumped imports. Therefore, the Commission was able to conclude that the injury it ascribed to Russian dumped imports is actually caused by those imports, rather than by the other factors. The Commission therefore fulfilled its obligation not to attribute to Russian dumped imports the injury caused by other causal factors. Therefore, no collective analysis of all the known factors is necessary. In any event, this interested party did not adduce any evidence on why the Commission in this case has improperly attributed to Russian dumped imports the injury caused by other factors. Therefore, this claim was rejected.

 

2.7. Alleged circumvention of the anti-dumping measures on imports of AHF from the PRC

(74) Following final disclosure, the Russian exporting producer and several rewinders claimed for the first time that the anti-dumping measures in force on imports of AHF from the PRC are being circumvented via a slightly modified form which allows them to be registered in Eurostat as ACF using the CN code 7607 11 19. In addition, the parties claimed that the aluminium foil with a thickness from 0,007 mm to 0,2 mm showed in the Chinese statistics database are circumvented AHF under the two codes 7607 11 90 and 7607 11 20. The volume of the alleged circumvented imports was therefore estimated to around 30 000 tonnes per year and it was claimed that it was causing injury to the Union industry.

(75) It is recalled that in 2012 the Commission initiated an investigation concerning the possible circumvention of anti-dumping measures imposed on imports of certain aluminium foil originating in the PRC by imports of certain aluminium foil in rolls which are not annealed and of a width exceeding 650 mm originating in the PRC <*> by Council Regulation (EC) No 925/2009 <**>. However, on 2 July 2013 the Commission terminated the investigation <***> without extending the anti-dumping measures on imports of certain aluminium foil originating in the PRC to imports of certain aluminium foil in rolls which are not annealed and of a width exceeding 650 mm originating in the PRC following a withdrawal of the request from the applicants.

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<*> Commission Regulation (EU) No 973/2012 of 22 October 2012 initiating an investigation concerning the possible circumvention of anti-dumping measures imposed by Council Regulation (EC) No 925/2009 on imports of certain aluminium foil originating in the People’s Republic of China by imports of certain aluminium foil in rolls which are not annealed and of a width exceeding 650 mm originating in the People’s Republic of China, and making such imports subject to registration (OJ L 293, 23.10.2012, p. 28).

<**> Council Regulation (EC) No 925/2009 of 24 September 2009 imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty and collecting definitively the provisional duty imposed on imports of certain aluminium foil originating in Armenia, Brazil and the People’s Republic of China (OJ L 262, 6.10.2009, p. 1).

<***> Commission Regulation (EU) No 638/2013 of 2 July 2013 terminating the investigation concerning possible circumvention of anti-dumping measures imposed by Council Regulation (EC) No 925/2009 on imports of certain aluminium foil originating in the People’s Republic of China by imports of certain aluminium foil in rolls which are not annealed and of a width exceeding 650 mm originating in the People’s Republic of China (OJ L 184, 3.7.2013, p. 1).

 

(76) The current proceeding did not cover alleged circumvention practises. In any event, the Commission made an analysis of the imports of AHF and ACF from the PRC based on the Chinese database statistics supplied by Goodwill China Business Information Ltd and the Eurostat statistics.

(77) The Chinese exports of aluminium foil via the two codes mentioned by the interested parties in the Chinese statistics are showed in the table below:

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