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The tax, which could last for as long as four months, is effective from Thursday August 15, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday August 13.
The move is in response to an ongoing case, which was opened in February this year after two major Taiwanese steelmakers, Yieh United Steel Corp (Yusco) and Tang Eng Iron Works (Tang Eng), claimed that cheaper imports from China and South Korea are hurting the country’s local steel industry.
After a preliminary investigation determined that imports from the two countries were damaging the domestic market, the government decided to introduce the new duty to protect local producers while the full investigation continued, the ministry said.
The government could adjust the tax if the case throws up new evidence.
China’s Shanxi Taigang, Taigang Tianguan Stainless, Taigang Stainless Hong Kong, and Taigang import & export (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd received a tax of 20.52%.
Other Chinese mills and exporters now face a duty of 45.96%.
South Korea’s Posco, Daewoo International, GS Global, Hyosung, and Hyundai received a tax of 27.26%.
Other South Korea mills and exporters will be taxed 46.02% on their products.
Due to the weak domestic demand and dumped products from China and South Korea, Taiwan’s stainless steel industry has been sluggish, with the average operating rate around 60% for stainless steelmakers, sources in Taiwan told Steel First.
“The high tax will definitely reduce China’s shipments to Taiwan,” a north China-based major exporter said, “Our price advantage is within 10%, much lower than the tax level.”
Taiwan is the largest destination for Chinese stainless flats exports, with shipments of 353,266 tonnes in the first half of 2013, more than one-third of China’s total.
China exported 477,815 tonnes stainless flats products to Taiwan in 2012, Chinese customs data shows.
Taiwan’s government said it will impose temporary anti-dumping duties on imports of 300-series stainless steel from China and South Korea, in a bid to protect its local steel industry.