US Commerce asked to find critical circumstances for silicon imports

Pittsburgh (Platts)--13 Sep 2017 739 pm EDT/2339 GMT

Silicon producer Globe Specialty Metals has alleged that critical circumstances exist with respect to silicon imports from Australia and Norway, and has made a formal request to the US Department of Commerce that it make preliminary affirmative findings in order to collect provisional retroactive duties.

According to government filings this week, the petitioner made the request "to address the very large surge of silicon metal imports" from the two countries as well as the growing surge from Australia.

For Commerce to make a preliminary critical circumstances finding in an antidumping investigation, it must determine that there was a massive surge of imports in a relatively short period and either there is a history of dumping or the importer knew that the merchandise was being sold at less than its fair value.

If Commerce determines that critical circumstances exist, it will instruct US Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits for imports that entered the US up to 90 days prior the publication of Commerce's preliminary determination in the Federal Register.

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The extent of the retroactive duties will be unknown until Commerce announces preliminary duty determinations on October 4.

Commerce typically determines that critical circumstances exist when there is a massive surge of imports (typically more than 15%-25%) in the three months after the trade case filing -- March 8, 2017, in this case -- compared with the three months before the trade case filing.

Globe alleges that import volumes from Australia that arrived March 2017-May 2017 increased by more than 78% compared with December 2016-February 2017 and have continued to increase in the months following.

In addition, Globe alleges that silicon imports from Norway increased nearly 80% between the base and comparison periods.

--Sarah Baltic Hilliard,

--Edited by Annie Siebert,

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