EU investigating complaint that China is dumping PET on market and its effect on recycling sector

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PET flake
Recycled PET flake

The European Commission has begun an investigation into whether China is dumping PET onto the European market at a discounted rate.

In a complaint lodged by PET Europe, a non-profit trade association based in Brussels, and submitted by O’Connor & Company lawyers, it is alleged that the Chinese plastics market is distorted by government intervention. According to the complaint, this has meant prices of Chinese PET have a dumping margin of 14.69% compared to Turkey.

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The complaint suggests that this has an impact on the value of the whole lifecycle of the material, including recycling, because PET is 100% recyclable.

In the document, it said: “PET Europe considers that PET originating in China is being dumped on the Union market and this dumping is injuring and threatens further injury to the Union industry.

“It is in the Union interest to take measures to counteract the dumping and to maintain a level playing field in the market for PET in the EU in line with the EU’s sustainability goals.”

The complaint relates to PET imported from China having a viscosity of 78ml/g or higher.

The European Commission in its initiation of an investigation, following the complaint, noted that there was enough evidence of Chinese dumping of PET and that “there is an imminent and substantial increase” in the PET manufacturing capacity of China.

It added that there was evidence that these imports have had a negative impact and performance of the European PET industry. One effect of this was that European Union PET companies were not able to increase sales price in line with the increased cost of raw materials and energy.