HomeGAA in the MediaNewsFelman accuses Australia of dumping


February 20, 2015
By Daniel Fitzgerald

Felman accuses Australia of dumping

NEW YORK - Felman Production LLC has filed a trade complaint alleging that dumped imports of silicomanganese from Australia are causing material injury to its manufacturing operations and the U.S. silicomanganese industry in general.

The New Haven, W.Va.-based subsidiary of Miami-based Georgian American Alloys Inc. filed the petition in response to what it called "large and increasing volumes of low-priced imports of silicomanganese" from Australia's only producer, Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Co. (Temco).


"Temco's prices have dropped sharply in recent years, and by selling their products at unfairly low prices that significantly undercut U.S. producer prices Temco's actions have contributed to the downward decline in U.S. market prices that ultimately led Felman to shut down its production from June 2013 to July 2014," Felman said.

The petition alleges that Temco is continuing to ship silicomanganese into the U.S. market at a 61.1-percent dumping rate. "Because Australia has been the 'low price leader' in recent years, and because U.S. contract prices are linked to published index prices, Felman believes there is no doubt that imports from Australia are having a far-reaching effect on U.S. industry financial performance and American jobs," the company said.

Felman filed the petition "to ensure that U.S. manufacturers and workers have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field," chief executive officer Mordechai Korf said in a statement.

Silicomanganese spot prices were assessed most recently in a range of 54 to 55 cents per pound, close to the 52- to 53-cent range seen in mid-2013, when Felman idled its New Haven facility citing "continuous challenging ferrosilicomanganese market conditions" (amm.com, June 28, 2013). The facility returned to production in July 2014 after the company secured an electricity supply agreement with Appalachian Power Co. that incorporated a "market variable electrical rate" (amm.com, July 1).

Silicomanganese imports from Australia totaled 48,652 tonnes in the first seven months of 2014 but tapered off following the New Haven restart, totaling 22,122 tonnes over the last five months of the year, according to U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) data.

Temco is a subsidiary of Melbourne, Australia-based BHP Billiton Ltd., although the company announced plans to spin off its manganese assets into a separate entity (amm.com, Aug. 19). BHP Billiton representatives declined to comment.

Commerce will determine within 20 days whether to initiate an anti-dumping investigation, and the ITC will reach a preliminary determination within 45 days, Felman said. The investigation is expected to take about one year to complete, although preliminary anti-dumping duties could be assessed in less than six months, it added.

Anti-dumping duty orders are already in effect against several other countries, including China, India, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Venezuela.