Gypsum industry news
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: 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: 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.
Kenya: Erdemann Gypsum has warned of health dangers regarding indoor toxins from imported gypsum products made from synthetic gypsum. There is some concern that low levels of the heavy metals present in coal might be present in synthetic gypsum. The company mines gypsum in Kitui and makes gypsum wallboard, plasters, cornices, corners and medallions at its US$4.89m plant in the county.
"We should use natural gypsum building materials from natural gypsum, which is safe for our health," said Erdemann Gypsum Managing Director John Yang. "The government should inspect imported gypsum products to ensure they do not have chemical contaminants."
Yang has also asked the government to seal gaps used by 'unscrupulous importers' in dumping gypsum-based construction materials into the country, to protect local companies. He requested that the government protect local manufacturers of building materials, who, he said, faced unfair competition from imported building materials, which are sometimes under-taxed. "Recognition of players in the building materials industry by the government will go a long way in helping the investors feel secure in doing their business in the country," he said. "Our company is the first of its kind in Kenya and we have created a new avenue for government revenue collection, so we expect at least some protection from the government."
Georgia/Azerbaijan: The value of imported construction materials from Azerbaijan to Georgia fell by 50% from January 2015 to September 2015, according to a report issued by the National Statistics Office of Georgia.
The country imported 64,870t of gypsum plaster and other anhydrites worth a total of US$8.7m from Azerbaijan during the period. Further, the volume of imported construction materials from Azerbaijan to Georgia decreased by 39.7% compared to the same period in 2014. Officials noted that Georgia imported 107,630t of construction materials, worth US$18.5m, from Azerbaijan during the period. Construction materials accounted for 2.2% of the total volume of Azerbaijani exports to Georgia in the first nine months of 2015. In total, Georgia imported US$392m in products from Azerbaijan in January 2015 – September 2015, or 13.7% less than in the same period in 2014.
Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan exported 36,920t of gypsum in the first half of 2015, some 40.9% less than in the same period of 2014 as reported by the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan. This was confirmed by the National Statistics Office of Georgia, which receives 100% of the Azerbaijani exports of gypsum.
According to the official figures of Azerbaijan, the declared revenue from gypsum sales abroad totalled US$566,580. However, Georgia has recorded US$5.1m of gypsum imports from Azerbaijan. Georgia has also reported that US$1.38m of gypsum was imported from Azerbaijan in July 2015. Azerbaijani customs issued the goods at the price of US$15.3/t, while in Georgia it was priced at US$138/t. In the first half of 2014, Azerbaijani gypsum was quoted in Georgia at the price of US$170/t.
In the first half of 2015, Azerbaijani gypsum production increased by 1.3% year-on-year to 92,200t, according to the State Statistics Committee. Azerbaijan also imports gypsum from Iran (860t) and Turkey (6.6t). One tonne of imported gypsum is registered for customs duties and taxes at the price of US$52.9/t, three times more expensive than in the first quarter of 2014.
New Zealand: The New Zealand government is considering cutting import duties on home building materials to help reduce rising house prices in the country.
"Building material costs are too high and can be as much as 30% more in New Zealand than in Australia according to the Productivity Commission. The industry needs a shake-up through increased competition and greater transparency to ensure kiwi families can get access to more fairly priced building materials and homes," said Housing Minister Nick Smith in a statement.
Smith and Commerce Minister Craig Foss released an options paper outlining possible measures to curb the cost of house construction. The paper said that 19% of the output of the home construction industry was made up of imported content. Tariffs notionally still applied to most items used in housing construction, such as wallboard, insulation, timber products, steel and aluminum joinery, particle board and roofing materials, but adjusted tariffs - the duty as a percentage of the value - were small and diminishing due to free trade agreements. Submissions to the options paper close on 18 December 2013.
New Zealand has imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of plasterboard from Thailand since 2011, wire nails from China since 2011 and reinforcing steel bar and coil from Thailand since 2004.
Pakistan/India: The price of gypsum has increased by about US$1.50/t for local consumers after the opening of Wagha border, because mine contactors are exporting gypsum to neighbouring India in massive quantities. Industry sources said that if exports of gypsum continued unchecked the local cement manufacturers, who are the major users of this commodity, will suffer the most due to its constant hike in rates, which may impact the price of cement.
In India the price change has been in the opposite direction and more pronounced, with prices falling from US$35/t to US$24/t on a glut in supply.
An official of the Pakistani Punjab Mines & Minerals Department, on the condition that his name not to be mentioned, questioned the prudence of allowing raw gypsum exports. "We are monitoring export of gypsum and trying to approach the cement industry, which is the biggest user of this mine. In several meetings with the representatives of the cement industry we have raised the issue of unregulated gypsum exports to India through the Wahga border route," the official said.
In the 2010-2011 financial year, which ended on 30 June 2012, Pakistan produced around 0.68Mt of gypsum, with its part of Punjab producing 0.49Mt of the total.
India: The Revenue Department of India has imposed an antidumping duty of up to US$51.7/m3 on the import of certain type of gypsum boards from China, Indonesia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates in order to protect domestic players from cheaper shipments.The duty will remain in force for six months.
The restrictive duty was levied after it was recommended by the Directorate General of Antidumping and Allied Duties (DGAD). In its probe the DGAD had concluded that, "the product had been exported to India from the subject countries below associated normal values and the domestic industry had suffered material injury."
The DGAD conducted the probe after a complaint from Saint-Gobain Gyproc India which accounts for about 80% of the domestic production of India's gypsum boards.
During January-December 2010 (the investigation period) imports from the four countries had increased by 194% per cent compared to 2007-08. India has initiated 275 anti-dumping investigations between 1992 and March 2012, involving over imports from more than 40 countries.