Gypsum industry news
Canada: The government has opened its Drywall Support Program for applications until the end of May 2017. This program provides drywall contractors and builders in Western and Northern Canada with compensation for elevated drywall costs due to anti-dumping duties imposed on imported drywall from the US, according to Canadian Newswire. The initiative is also intended to homeowners in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed by the 2016 wildfires and are now facing higher rebuilding costs. The US$9m scheme will be administered by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
US: CertainTeed has gained six additional Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), bringing its total number of gypsum wallboard EPDs to 12. The building materials producer started launching product specific EPDs in the drywall category in late 20115.
"CertainTeed is proud to have pioneered EPD verifications both within our drywall products and extending across CertainTeed insulation and ceilings categories. Since the beginning, we've delivered on our commitment to provide better product transparency so that our customers can make informed decisions on environmental sustainability implications at the initial stages of project development," said Dave Engelhardt, president of CertainTeed Gypsum.
CertainTeed Gypsum offers 12 product-specific Type III EPDs that include seven plants in four different product categories. The company says it is the only manufacturer to offer 'Cradle-to-Grave' EPD transparency that takes the entire development process into account. The EPDs from CertainTeed Gypsum are third-party verified by UL Environment and include information on global warming potential, embodied energy and other impacts that occur as a result of manufacturing.
The six new EPDs are available for four product groups including AirRenew, M2Tech, Easi-Lite and CertainTeed Type X. AirRenew is produced at the Moundsville plant in West Virginia and the other products are manufactured at the Montreal plant in Quebec, Canada.
Canada: Residents rebuilding their homes in Fort McMurray, Alberta will be compensated for duties liable on gypsum wallboard imported from the US. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the announcement, according to the Canadian Press. A source quoted by the agency said that it is part of the government's response to a Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) ruling that lobbied it to cut duties imposed on wallboard products being imported into Western Canada from the US. The CITT ruled that gypsum wallboard imports from the US had 'hurt' the local industry in January 2017 but, in a separate ruling, it also recognised that competition had been 'substantially' reduced in Western Canada.
Canada: The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has ruled that gypsum wallboard dumping from the US exports has caused injury to the domestic industry. The ruling means that preliminary duties of up to 276% imposed by the Canada Border Services Agency on imports from the US in September 2016 end but will be replaced by permanent variable duties on any imports that fall below a floor price established in December 2016, according to the Canadian Press.
In a separate ruling the tribunal also found that provisional duties in Western Canada have 'substantially' reducing competition in those markets. It has recommended that the government consider refunding some of the duties paid so far to alleviate short-term pain for contractors and consumers, and that it consider a special remission of duties to residents of Fort McMurray.
CertainTeed Gypsum Canada complained to the Canada Border Services Agency about wallboard originating in the US being sold at 'unfair' prices and this led to an investigation in June 2016. However, CertainTeed Gypsum Canada may have benefitted from being the only Canadian manufacturer of wallboard in Western Canada following the introduction of provisional duties in September 2016.
The tribunal will issue the reasons for its findings and recommendations in both cases on 19 January 2017.
Canada: Cabot Gypsum is expanding to focus on markets along the eastern seaboard of North America. The decision follows upgrades on production equipment and maintenance procedures following investment from a Texan investor, according to CBC News. It has now started to expand its workforce and has added BlueGlass, a sheathed gypsum wallboard product, to its portfolio. The plant has a target of 650,000Mm2/month.
Canada: The federal government has asked for a faster review of anti-dumping tariffs on gypsum wallboard imports. However, the new schedule isn't expected to immediately reduce the duties, according to the Canadian Press. The Finance Department says it wants to help middle-class families in Western Canada, especially those involved in the reconstruction of Fort McMurray, Alberta following wildfires earlier in 2016 that destroyed large numbers of buildings.
"I am grateful to hear the federal government is responding to our concerns and the concerns of people across Fort McMurray with the recent ruling by Canada Border Services Agency that effectively closed Western Canada from imported drywall,'' said Brian Jean, the leader of the opposition Wildrose Party in a statement. He added that his party will continue to ask the government to suspend the tariff during its review or exempt wallboard coming into Fort McMurray from the tax.
In September 2016 the Canada Border Services Agency imposed preliminary tariffs of up to 277% cent on US gypsum wallboard imported into Canada for use in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Yukon and Northwest Territories. The agency said it was responded to a complaint by CertainTeed Gypsum Canada.
Canada: CertainTeed Gypsum Canada has defended its decision to complain about the dumping of gypsum wallboard from the US in terms of Canadian law and jobs. Following the complaint the Canada Border Services Agency imposed preliminary tariffs on US wallboard, which has led to rises in the prices of wallboard. Groups, including certain Canadian customers and Western Canadian Associations, have called for a boycott on CertainTeed products in response to the situation.
"We filed an Anti-Dumping Complaint because drywall manufacturers based in the US were exporting large and growing volumes of products into Western Canada in the last few years at prices materially lower than those at which they are sold in the US," said the wallboard producer in statement. It added that this kind of dumping creates material injury to domestic manufacturers in the form of share loss and price and margin suppression and that this is considered an unfair trade practice sanctioned through an offsetting duty or tariff under Canadian law.
CertainTeed Gypsum Canada went on to say that as a response to US 'dumping' it had to cut jobs in Western Canada and reduce investment in its plants, mines and business. It then reiterated that since the financial crisis in 2008 it had kept all of its Western Canadian plants and operations open, while US companies had closed theirs.
The producer has wallboard plants in Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg and mines in Windermere, British Colombia and Amaranth, Manitoba that supply those plants. It employs over 1000 workers in the country.
Canada: Wallboard prices have risen in western Canada following the implementation of antidumping tariffs of up to 277% on gypsum wallboard from the US. Builders and suppliers fear the ruling could disrupt the supply of the product for construction projects, including the rebuilding campaign in Fort McMurray in Alberta, according to the Canadian Press news agency.
The Canada Border Services Agency imposed preliminary tariffs on 6 September 2016 on US wallboard into Canada for use in British Colombia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon and Northwest Territories. The provisional duty ranges from 125% on imports from CertainTeed Gypsum and Ceiling, 105% on Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, 144% on USG and 277% on all other importers.
Canada: The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has started an inquiry to determine whether the dumping of gypsum wallboard from the US has damaging effects on the local market. The inquiry follows an investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency. The tribunal will determine whether the dumping has caused injury or retardation or is threatening to cause injury to the domestic industry.
The tribunal is an independent quasi-judicial body that reports to the Canadian parliament through the Minister of Finance. It hears cases on dumped and subsidised imports, safeguard complaints, complaints about federal government procurement and appeals of customs and excise tax rulings. It can also offer advice on economic, trade and tariff matters.
Canada: The Canadian Gypsum Company has stopped gypsum mining for the summer at its Little Narrows quarry in Cape Breton. A local councillor quoted by the Cape Breton Post newspaper said that mining has now stopped for the year. However he didn't believe that the company had yet decided whether to shut down the site completely. He added that synthetic gypsum taken from the power plants was replacing natural gypsum at gypsum wallboard plants along the east coast of the US.
In January 2016 the subsidiary of USG laid off 14 winter maintenance workers at the site.