The EEC has launched an anti-dumping investigation against foil from China

The EEC has launched an anti-dumping investigation against foil from China

The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), at the initiative of the aluminum association, of which Rusal is a key member, began an anti-dumping investigation against foil from China. Previously, the EEC had already introduced measures against the import of aluminum strips and rims from China. As analysts note, imported foil accounts for up to 25% of the Russian market, and Rusal does not want to lose its share in it, despite the not too large absolute volumes.

The Eurasian Economic Commission has launched an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese foil, according to the commission’s materials. The investigation was initiated by the Association of Aluminum Producers, Suppliers and Consumers (Aluminum Association). Its members are several dozen companies, including Rusal and the GAZ group. At the moment, the commission is already conducting a repeated anti-dumping investigation on aluminum strips from China and Azerbaijan, and on cast wheels from China, the commission decided to extend the anti-dumping duty of 33.7% until December 26, 2024.

The association's statement says that from January 1 to September 30, 2023, foil was supplied to the EAEU countries at dumping prices. The dumping margin was 19.68%. Simultaneously with an increase in foil consumption by 16% in 2020–2022 and by 1% in January–September 2023, Chinese imports increased by 26% and 6%, respectively, the materials said. According to the association, growing volumes and low prices have led to the fact that the growth in the weighted average price of foil from local producers has lagged behind the rate of increase in its cost. At the same time, the association notes that foil production in China is 1.5 times higher than domestic demand, which creates the preconditions for export growth.

Rusal, which has traditionally been an export-oriented company, is now concerned about growing sales in the domestic market, which could hedge its business in the event of harsh sanctions against Russian aluminum. There are no such sanctions yet, but the EU regularly discusses introducing a ban on metal imports from Russia. In November 2023, the Aluminum Association reported that supplies to the domestic market account for 22% of the country's aluminum production, the rest is exported. “Consumption in the domestic market is limited both by high processing capacity and by demand from end-use industries,” the association noted. According to her estimates, domestic consumption is 1 million tons, and by 2030 it is planned to increase it to 1.5 million tons. Among the support measures, the association proposes maintaining duties on imported aluminum products, analogues of which are produced in Russia, and combating unfair imports. According to the association, more than 1 million pieces of low-quality wheel rims are imported into Russia annually, mainly from China.

The growth of domestic demand for aluminum is extremely slow, despite initiatives to use aluminum wiring and aluminum structures, comments Maxim Khudalov, chief strategist of the investment company Vector X. Aluminum foil production is about 80 thousand tons, and its import is more than 20 thousand tons, so manufacturers are seriously afraid of losing market share due to lower prices that Chinese companies can offer, he states.

Evgeniy Zainullin

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