MANILA—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on specific Portland cement brands imported from Vietnam after conducting a preliminary determination on the anti-dumping petition filed by Republic Cement & Building Materials, Inc. (RCBM), CEMEX – Solid Cement Corporation/ Apo Cement Corporation, and Holcim Philippines Inc. Preliminary determination showed that 9 out of 16 Vietnamese exporters of Type 1 cement and 4 out of 12 exporters of Type 1P cement have been dumping cement in the country causing material injury to the domestic cement industry.

Provisional anti-dumping duties on Type 1 cement will range from USD1.02/MT to USD10.53/MT, or 2.69% to 31.87% of the export price. The 9 exporters account for 82% of total imports of Type 1 cement. Meanwhile, provisional anti-dumping duties on Viet Nam’s Type 1P cement exports will range from USD1.16/MT to USD12.79/MT, or 3.80% to 29.20% of the export price. These provisional duties are estimated to add P2.01 to P25.08 to the import cost of a 40 kg bag of cement, but this is not expected to be passed on to the users due to strong competition from local and other imported brands. 

With local cement manufacturers having enough capacity to meet domestic demand, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez explained, “We do not anticipate that these duties will result in an increase in the retail price of cement because its effect on landed cost is minimal. Any price increases in imported cement will be discouraged by competition from domestic cement producers.”

He mentioned further that “the provisional anti-dumping duties will be imposed only on specific Vietnamese exporters found to be dumping cement to the Philippines. Vietnamese exporters who are not dumping can continue to export cement without having to post the provisional anti-dumping cash bond.”

DTI’s findings also show that during the investigation period, dumped cement imports from Viet Nam accounted for 55% of total Philippine imports from July 2019 to December 2020. Cement imports from Viet Nam account for almost 90% of the country’s total cement imports.

Dumping occurs when exporters sell their products to an importing country at a price lower than its normal value when consumed in their home market. Under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Anti-Dumping Agreement, WTO member countries are entitled to impose anti-dumping duties to mitigate dumping-related injury to the domestic industry. The DTI’s provisional anti-dumping duties are equal to the dumping margin, which is the difference between Vietnam’s domestic and export prices. The case will be forwarded to the Tariff Commission for a formal investigation to determine if a permanent anti-dumping duty may be imposed.

Anti-dumping duty is a form of trade remedy to correct unfair trade practices being done by specific exporters/brands and thus, level the playing field in the industry. Vietnamese cement exports to the Philippines accounted for 46% of Viet Nam’s world export volume for the period of 2017 to 2020.

According to DTI, local cement makers have enough capacity to meet the requirements of residential, institutional, and corporate consumers in the country, including the requirements of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” programs. Further, the competitive environment in the domestic market for cement ensures that pricing and supply will remain stable.

“We do not expect the provisional dumping duties to have an impact on the government’s Build, Build, Build program because domestic cement producers have the capacity to supply the requirements of the program’s projects and strong competition among producers and importers is expected to keep prices stable,” Secretary Lopez said. “Nonetheless, DTI will keep a watchful eye on cement selling prices to avoid unjustified price hikes,” he assured. ♦

Date of Release: 6 December 2021