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Invezz.com
March 13, 2015
By Veselin Valchev

 BHP Billiton share price: US Commerce Department to investigate dumping allegations

BHP Billiton plc’s (LON:BLT) shares lost 2.75 percent to 1,396.00p as of 14:53 GMT today, after the US Commerce Department said it had launched a one-year investigation into dumping accusations targeted at BHP’s Tasmanian Metallurgical Co sales to the US market.

Felman Production, a West Virginia-based ferrosilicomanganese producer, accused the London-based mining company of selling its products at “unfairly low prices that significantly undercut US producer prices”.

“Dumped imports of silicomanganese from Australia are causing material injury to (our) West Virginia manufacturing operation and to the US silicomanganese industry as a whole,” Felman said last month, when filing the complaint.

US Commerce Department data shows BHP sold 70,800 tonnes of silicomanganese into the US last year at prices of $1,086 a tonne, while in 2012 the company sold 26,400 tonnes at $1,049 per tonne.

If BHP Billion is found guilty, import duties could be placed on produce from BHP’s Bell Bay plant entering the US.

The US International Trade Commission has scheduled a preliminary injury determination by April 6.

The latest dumping allegations come just three days after BHP Billiton, along with fellow ore producer Rio Tinto had to answer to similar accusations regarding the companies’ iron ore output. The two mining giants were accused of supplying vast quantities of cheap iron ore to an already well-saturated market in order push down prices further and force smaller competitors out of business.

Both companies denied malicious intent.

As of March 11, the consensus among 32 investment analysts polled by the Financial Times has it that BHP Billiton will “outperform” the market, with seven analysts advising to “buy” and two recommending “sell”.

As of 16:02 GMT, Friday, 13 March, BHP Billiton plc share price is 1,391.00p.