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: 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.
Bhutan/Bangladesh: Gypsum exports from Bhutan to Bangladesh have declined substantially after a 5% duty was levied on the mineral in July 2015.
Figures from RSA Private Limited in Phuentsholing revealed a drastic drop in the last two months. RSA exported gypsum worth US$12,049 in August 2015 and US$24,781 in July 2015. In January 2015, RSA had recorded exports worth US$111,952. RSA is the principal company that exports gypsum to Bangladesh from Bhutan. There are about four manufacturers in the country that route their gypsum to Bangladesh through RSA.
According to the bilateral trade agreement signed between the two countries, gypsum is one of the 18 products from Bhutan that is exempted from paying tax in Bangladesh. However, the new tariff schedule the government of Bangladesh published for 2015 - 2016 specified that only importers registered as a supplier for agricultural products were exempted from this tax. All other establishments that imported gypsum from Bhutan for other purposes were levied a 5% tax. Since the gypsum exported from the country is not used as fertiliser, the number of importers has decreased in Bangladesh, disrupting demand and supply. Gypsum from Bhutan is imported mostly by cement manufacturing companies in Bangladesh.
The general secretary with Bhutan Exporters Association (BEA) Tshering Yeshi said that the harmonised system code notified by Bangladesh in July 2015 contradicted the existing code as per the bilateral trade agreement. "We discussed this issue during the joint sitting customs commission meeting in July 2015," said Yeshi, adding that the representatives from Bangladesh said that they would look into the matter immediately. However, there has been no developments to date. The bilateral trade agreement between the two countries allows 90 products from Bangladesh free of tax, while 18 products from Bhutan are duty free in Bangladesh.
Azerbaijan: Gypsum exporters in Azerbaijan deliberately reduced export prices of gypsum by a factor of 10 in 2014 to evade tax, according to research by the Turan Information Agency conducted on data from Azerbaijan and Georgia state sources.
According to the research, the export and import values for gypsum failed to match between Azerbaijan and Georgia in 2014, leading to a US$24.1m tax shortfall. Gypsum exported from Azerbaijan was valued at US$17/t but gypsum imported into Georgia was valued at US$170/t. Almost all export of gypsum of Azerbaijan appeared to go to Georgia according to data from the National Statistics Office of Georgia. Turan dubbed gypsum producers in Azerbaijan as the 'Gypsum Mafia'.
The main producers of plaster in Azerbaijan are Garant Holding and Gilan Holding. Both companies are located close to gypsum deposits in the Goranboy region. Gilan Holding has a joint venture with the German company Knauf for the production of wallboard.
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.
India: The Finance Ministry has imposed an anti-dumping duty on wallboard imported from China, Indonesia, Thailand and the UAE. The import tax has been declared valid for five years starting from 7 June 2012 when the provisional anti-dumping duty was first imposed. The duty excludes fire-resistant boards.
For wallboard imports from China, the duty is US$32.9/m3. For imports from Indonesia the duty is US$24.1/m3. For imports from Thailand, wallboard produced and exported by Siam Gypsum Industry (Saraburi) and Siam Gypsum Industry (Songkhla) has received a preferential rate of US$54.5/m3. All other wallboard imports from Thailand will receive a duty of US$73.8/m3. For imports from UAE produced and exported by Gypsemna Dubai the duty is US$12.3/m3. All other imports from UAE will receive a duty of US$20.2/m3.