INDONESIA: F&B makers want PET import probe to be ceased

"The investigation lacks the minimum preliminary evidence as no parties have suffered losses from the import of PET. Thus, the probe must stop,” said Franky Sibarani, secretary-general of the Indonesian Food and Beverage Business Association (GAPMMI).

The country's antidumping agency launched the investigation in response to a petition organized by a group of plastic makers, including PT Indo-Rama Synthetics Tbk, PT Indorama Ventures Indonesia and PT Polypet Karyapersada.

The plastic makers said that the import of PET from South Korea, China, Singapore and Taiwan at dumping prices had brought losses to the domestic industry that produced similar products.

Indonesian Association of Bottled Drinking Water Companies (ASPADIN) chief Hendro Baroeno warned the government of increasing production costs should it impose an antidumping duty on PET imports

The production cost increases would push up the prices of food and drink products, which would make them less competitive, especially with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) drawing near.

"The PET component in food and beverage products is around 20-80 percent of production costs. Bottled water is the most affected as the PET component accounts for 70 % of production cost,” he said.

According to him, the food and beverage industry contributes to 10 % of the national gross domestic product (GDP) annually.

Data showed that domestic PET demand in 2013 was 177,000 tons while domestic PET production reached 467,000 tons.

"250,000 tons of domestic production is exported, leaving 167,000 tons for domestic use. That means we need an extra 10,000 tons from imports,” said Hendro.

Franky meanwhile questioned the fact that some of the plastic makers who supported the probe had also imported PET from South Korea, which is currently under investigation.

Contacted separately, KADI chairwoman Ernawati said that the final report of the investigations into the alleged dumping practice would be ready by November.

Based on the KADI report, the Trade Ministry will decide whether or not it will impose an antidumping duty on PET imports.

For the final report, KADI has collected information from domestic industries, Indonesian importers, as well as exporters and PET-producing countries.

Due to the amount of information and interviews carried out, KADI had extended the investigation from 12 months to 18 months.

Source: Daily "The Jakarta Post", Jakarta; 27 Sept 2013(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)