Itac has asked Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies (above) to terminate the anti-dumping duties with effect from August 5. File picture: Cindy Waxa

Johannesburg - The International Trade Administration Commission of SA (Itac) has terminated anti-dumping duties on bolts and nuts imported from the People’s Republic of China, according to an Itac report. Itac has asked Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies to terminate the anti-dumping duties with effect from August 5.

This follows the decision by local manufacturers of bolts and nuts to supply information that would have enabled the commission to review the anti-dumping duties.

South Africa imposed the anti-dumping duties in 1999. Following Itac’s reviews, the anti-dumping duties were reimposed in 2004/5 and 2010/11. The duties are reimposed for five years.In October last year, the SA Fasteners Manufacturers Association (Safma) told Itac that “after deliberation and taking into account that the anti-dumping duties were not effective to protect the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) industry in combating these low priced imports, it was decided that the Sacu manufacturers would not supply information to the commission to initiate a sunset review”.

Attempts to get comment from Safma yesterday were not successful.

In a previous application for a review in 2010, the industry body alleged that bolts and nuts imports were depressing and suppressing local selling prices. It claimed that the imports would lead to reduced sales, profit margins, production, market share, capacity utilisation, return on investment and would affect cash flows of local companies.

Significant impact

Donald MacKay, the director at XA International Trade Advisors, said yesterday that the anti-dumping duties ranged between zero and 122.7 percent, “so the impact of this change will be significant”.

He would not speculate on Safma’s reasons not to request a review of the duties. “But we saw recently with the duties on acrylic blankets, when the manufacturers missed their deadline to request a review. I do not know if that was the case here,” said MacKay.

He was referring to the anti-dumping duties on acrylic blankets imported from the People’s Republic of China and Turkey. The anti-dumping duties have been in effect since December 1998. The Textile Federation of SA last year told the commission that the dumping of blankets would resume as soon the anti-dumping duties expired. But the federation could not substantiate its claims.

MacKay said Safma’s decision not to seek a review of the duties came against the backdrop of a downstream steel industry review, “with fasteners being one of the largest sectors covered by the review”.

Itac last month initiated a review on the duty structures of various downstream steel products. XA International Trade Advisors said the review covered R23.5 billion worth of imports for the period between June last year and May this year.

The upper limit of duties on fasteners under the industry review was 30 percent. “(Local manufacturers) would have retained higher duties if they had applied for a sunset review,” said MacKay. He said the total imports of fasteners were worth approximately R2.5bn in the last 12 months.