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Sat 4 Jul 2009 04:14 PM

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Saudi exporters demand duty on Chinese imports

Exporters wants gov't to act against China's duty imposition on Saudi's methanol exports.

Saudi exporters urged the government on Saturday to slap import duties on Chinese exports, including steel and plastics, to retaliate for what they claim was the planned imposition of a duty on Saudi methanol exports.

Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) said last week China had imposed a duty on methanol imports. 

On June 24, China said it had begun an anti-dumping investigation into methanol imported from Saudi Arabia and three other countries to assess whether the material had been dumped below production prices.

"The government needs to move," Abdul-Rahman al-Zamil, who heads the National Centre for the Development of Saudi Exports, told a news conference. He is also a Sipchem board member.

The government should follow up complaints by Saudi firms about the dumping of Chinese products on the Saudi market, he said.

"Everybody complains about Chinese merchandise ... the Chinese steel, plastics and electrical industries are hurting our industries because of dumping," he said.

China said last week its investigation would determine whether methanol - used in blended gasoline -- has been dumped onto the Chinese market at prices below production costs, and ascertain the losses incurred by Chinese producers as a result.

Zamil said methanol exports to China account for about 10-15 percent of Saudi petrochemical exports, estimated at $2 billion in 2008.

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