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India extends anti-dumping duty on Chinese sodium citrate

The government has extended duty protection on sodium citrate -- a key pharmaceutical ingredient – imported from China for another five years after an investigation found that there has been continued dumping of the Chinese product in India hampering the domestic industry, the finance ministry said.

“There is continued dumping of the subject goods from subject country and the imports are likely to enter the Indian market at dumped prices in the event of expiry of duty,” an order issued by the ministry said on Tuesday.

The duty protection, which was imposed by the department of revenue on May 20, 2015 was to expire on Tuesday.

Dumping, an unfair trade practice that entails export of a product at a price lower than its normal value, is countered by a punitive anti-dumping duty. A safeguard duty is also imposed to check an unexpected import surge that poses a threat the domestic industry.

After a thorough investigation, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) on April 30 recommended to extend the anti-dumping duty on imports of sodium citrate from China for another five years. The DGTR, earlier known as the Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties, is an integrated single window agency for providing comprehensive and swift trade defence mechanism in India.

On May 11, HT reported that India may extend anti-dumping duties and safeguards on more than two dozen Chinese goods ranging from sodium citrate to solar cells amid concern that a flood of imports would kill domestic manufacturers who will lose duty protection soon against such products in the current calendar year. Anti-dumping duty against 25 Chinese products would expire in 2020.

Chinese imports under review include sodium citrate, USB flash drives, calculators, hot-rolled flat products of stainless steel, Vitamin C and E, nylon tyre cord, measuring tapes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), flax fabrics, caustic soda, float glass, tableware, kitchenware, plastic processing machinery and solar cells.

Sodium citrate is a key chemical compound that comes in the form of monosodium citrate, disodium citrate and tri sodium citrate. It is mainly used as an expectorant and a urine alkanizer. It is also used as a pharmaceutical aid and as a food additive in dairy industries for manufacturing of cheese and beverages. It is a water treatment chemical and is used as a laboratory reagent. It is also used as an acidity regulator in drinks and as an emulsifier for oils when making cheese. Sodium Citrate is also used as an antioxidant in food.

Hindustan Times