Hulett Aluminium, the South African based producer of aluminium rolled products, announced today that the US Department of Commerce has issued a ruling in the antidumping investigation of Hulett’s series 6000 plate sales to the United States. This antidumping case was filed by Alcoa in October 2003, who alleged that Hulett was selling into the USA at prices which produced dumping margins exceeding 100%. The DOC’s findings come after more than nine months of investigation, and have concluded that a dumping margin of 3,5% existed.
While Hulett believes that the finding of a substantially lower dumping margin fully vindicates the position that Alcoa’s allegation of injurious dumping had no merit, Hulett also expressed disappointment that the DOC continued to apply its “zeroing methodology” to arrive at the final dumping figure. The WTO Appellate ruled in August that application of this methodology in antidumping investigations violated the U.S’s WTO obligations. If the DOC had not applied that methodology in this case, the level of dumping would have reduced to zero. Hulett Aluminium Chairman, Peter Staude, says that, if an antidumping duty order is ultimately entered against imports from South Africa, the company intends to challenge the DOC on this matter.
The dumping case now returns to the US International Trade Commission which must assess whether the U.S. aluminium rolling industry is suffering material injury, by reason of these South African imports. Hulett Aluminium has previously stated, and continues to believe, that Alcoa’s allegation of being materially injured by reason of imports of such a narrowly defined range of 6000 series aluminium plate from South Africa, is outrageous. It has also questioned why Alcoa has ignored the significant volumes of lower priced imports from other countries, particularly Russia, over the period of the investigation.
Following a public hearing in Washington on October 5th, the ITC is expected to make its final decision in November 2004. Hulett will continue to co-operate fully with the US government authorities investigating Alcoa’s allegations.
Hulett Aluminium remains optimistic that the ongoing investigation will find that Hulett has not engaged in any injurious unfair practice through the sales of its 6000 series aluminium plate to the United States, and will continue to supply this high quality product into the US market.