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Newspaper Foresees Carbon Black Shortage in India

On Friday, July 24, the website of the New Indian Express newspaper reported that the “tyre and tread rubber manufacturing units in the country [India] are heading for a severe crisis, as carbon black, a critical raw material for production, is in short supply.”

The article asserts that recent actions by India’s Commerce Ministry to add anti-dumping duties to carbon black have led to a shortage of carbon black in the Indian market.

The crisis is borne out of a notification issued by the Ministry of Commerce (No 81(RE-2008- )/2004-2009), dated January 16, 2009 and amendment thereon, restricting import of carbon black if its landed cost value is less than Rs 80 per kg, while the current Indian price of the same product is well below the suggested price. In addition to this, the Director General of Anti Dumping and Allied Duties, Ministry of Commerce, by its preliminary findings dated May 25, 2009 has imposed anti-dumping duty on carbon black imported from Australia, China PR, Russia and Thailand, at the rate of an approximate Rs 6,000/tonne.

Contrary to the claims of the article, the Indian carbon black industry has more than enough capacity to meet the country’s domestic demand and in fact is a net exporter of carbon black. Further, the industry is in the midst of a major expansion program, with new plants recently completed, under construction, or planned by Himadri, Phillips Carbon Black, Hi-Tech Carbon, and Continental Carbon India.

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