India's newsprint manufacturers are facing the import heat. The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has found prima facie merit in the complaint made by domestic makers of newsprint rolls and sheets that their business is getting impacted because of imported newsprint that gets dumped into the country from over half a dozen foreign destinations. On January 20, DGTR announced anti-dumping investigation against newsprint imports from Australia, Canada, European Union, United Arab Emirates Hong Kong, Russia and Singapore.
Indian Newsprint Manufacturers Association (INMA), in its submission before DGTR had alleged dumping of newsprint in the form of increased volume imports, aided by price undercutting, and price suppression. The association said that the performance of domestic industry has been affecting adversely in respect of production, sales and consequent decline in profits, return on capital employed, and cash flow, as a result of increase in imports of newsprint at a price below selling price and non-injurious price for the domestic industry.
Initiating the investigations, DGTR had pointed out that there is sufficient prima facie evidence that newsprint is being dumped in the Indian market by the exporters from other countries. The authority had compared the normal value and the export price at ex-factory level based on transaction-wise import data after adjusting for ocean freight, marine insurance, port expenses, bank charges, commission and inland freight.The Period of Investigation (PoI) will be from April 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 (9 months). The injury investigation period will cover the periods 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018- 19 and the PoI.
The association's complaint has been supported by 17 other domestic producers. Indian newsprint makers use recycled or wastepaper as the raw material while most of the foreign producers use wood pulp. The anti-dumping investigation will be on the basis of a constructed normal value after considering the fact that the conversion cost from wood pulp is at least three times the conversion cost from recycled paper. The newsprint is classified under the customs tariff code 48010090, though it is also being imported under the code 48010010.
The INMA puts the installed capacity of newsprint manufacturing in India at 20.65 million metric tonnes. Of the annual consumption of 17.1 million metric tonnes of newsprint in 2017-18, 14.7 million metric tonnes were locally sourced, while the rest got imported. The value of India's newsprint import was $930 million in 2018-19. The prominent members of INMA include Rama Newsprint and Papers (Maharashtra), Emami Paper Mills (West Bengal) and Khanna Paper Mills (Punjab).