The Brazilian Polymer Association Abiplast has asked the government to cancel anti-dumping duties on imported polyvinyl chloride (PVC) due to a shortage of raw materials, according to ICIS.

The problem of raw materials is related to stopping the production of chlor-alkali capacities of the local manufacturer Braskem, products from which are supplied for the production of ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) for the further production of PVC.

Braskem ceased mining at its salt mine for safety reasons after reporting from the Brazilian Geological Survey (CPRM), which said that salt mining led to cracks and subsidence in the surrounding neighborhoods of Pinheiro, Mutanzhe and Bebedoru.

The Alagoas State Environmental Protection Agency and the National Mining Agency banned companies from further mining at the mine and fined Braskem nearly USD7.5 million (29.4 million reais).

Abiplast submitted a request to the Ministry of Economy, citing the risk of a shortage of raw materials if the shutdown of Braskem activities continues.

The request also contains a requirement for the termination of the anti-dumping duties on other polymers, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used mainly in the production of water bottles.

Industry players expect the government to make a decision this week.

For almost 30 years, polymer imports into Brazil were subject to high import duties, which made PVC imports from other countries, such as the United States, too unprofitable to compete in this country.

PVC from the USA is subject to 16% of anti-dumping duties, as well as 14% of import duties. Other import expenses are about 4%. PVC from Colombia or Argentina does not apply anti-dumping or import duties.

Brazil has two PVC makers: Unipar Carbocloro and Braskem. The remaining Latin American PVC producers are Unipar Indupa in Argentina, Mexichem in Mexico and Colombia and Pequiven in Venezuela, which ceased production due to political problems.

US PVC makers include OxyVinyls, Shintech, Westlake Chemical, and Formosa Plastics.

According to ICIS-MRC’s Price Review, deals for May supplies of suspension polyvinyl chloride (PVC-S) for CIS markets from Europe were in the range of EUR720-805 per tonne, FCA, while a month earlier, the deals were in the range of EUR710-785 per tone, FCA .