USA: Refrigerant cylinder manufacturer Worthington Industries has filed antidumping duty and countervailing duty petitions on non-refillable steel cylinders from India.
Worthington, the only US manufacturer of non-refillable steel refrigeration cylinders, has announced legal proceedings with the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission (USITC) for relief from unfair imports of certain non-refillable steel cylinders from India.
It is alleged that non-refillable steel cylinders meeting US Department of Transportation specification 39 for pressure vessels (DOT-39 cylinders) imported from India are being sold at less than fair value, or “dumped,” in the US by margins as high as 57%.
It is also claimed that they are also being unfairly subsidised by the Indian government. DOT-39 cylinders are used in a wide variety of applications, but primarily in the transportation and delivery of refrigerant gases serving the US HVAC industry.
“Low priced imports from India have surged since our successful trade case against China demonstrating the adverse impact that unfair import competition has on our business,” said Worthington Industries president and CEO Andy Rose. “The US non-refillable cylinders market continues to be a target for opportunistic foreign industries, but we are prepared to do everything in our power to ensure we can continue serving our customers with American-made products that provide high-quality jobs in our manufacturing facilities in Ohio and Kentucky. We need trade relief against India for us to be able to do that.”
Dumped and subsidised Indian DOT-39 cylinders are said to have surged into the US market at “aggressively low prices” over the past three years.
In 2020, Worthington successfully sought trade relief from the US government after losing substantial sales, market share, and revenue to unfair imports of DOT-39 cylinders from China. According to Worthington Industries, as Chinese import volumes abated and pricing improved in response to that successful trade case, imports of the same product from India flooded into the United States.
This “onslaught” of low-priced Indian imports has thwarted the recovery of its DOT-39 cylinder business, Worthington says, and has faced declines in market share, sales, shipments, capacity utilisation, and workforce.
Worthington made a $21m investment in a new DOT-39 cylinder production line in Columbus, Ohio and added 90 jobs as part of its plan for growth after relief was granted in the China case.
The company is also fighting the provisions of the US AIM Act which seeks to prohibit the sale of disposable cylinders in its efforts to phase down HFCs from 2025.
The non-refillable steel cylinders covered by the petitions include those ranging in size from 100in3 (1.6 litre) water capacity to 1,526in3 (25 litre) in water capacity.
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