|The Philippines Department of Trade and Industry has begun investigating safeguard measures on the import of ceramic tiles from various countries, including Việt Nam. - File Photo
HÀ NÔI — The Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has initiated a preliminary investigation on the application of safeguard measures on the import of ceramic floor and wall tiles from various countries, including Việt Nam, according to the Trade Remedies Authority of Việt Nam.
The investigation will cover the period from 2013 to 2017.
According to the DTI’s notice, the protest alleged that increased imports had contributed to serious damages to the local industry.
The petitioner was Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, Inc. (MSC) which accounted for 86 per cent of the Philippines’s total production output subject to the investigation.
The DTI’s notice said the volume of imports of ceramic floor and wall tiles increased from 6,000 tonnes in 2013 to more than one million tonnes in 2016. In 2017, imports were 12 per cent lower than in 2016 but still 2,192 per cent higher than in 2014.
China, Indonesia and Việt Nam were the major suppliers of the imported products.
Despite significant increases in market size, the market share of domestic manufacturers declined from 96 per cent in 2013 to 14 per cent in 2017. The market share of imported ceramic tiles grew from 4 per cent in 2013 to 88 per cent in 2016. The domestic industry experienced a sharp decline in earnings of 1,067 per cent in 2017.
“The market share of locally produced ceramic floor and wall tiles was essentially displaced during the period under investigation as the share of imports in the domestic market significantly increased,” the notice said.
The increased imports also allegedly damaged the domestic industry in terms of production, sales, capacity ultilisation, incurred losses, price depression and undercutting, according to the DTI.
Statistics showed imported ceramic tiles from Việt Nam accounted for the second highest share of imports from 2014 to 2015.
In 2013, Việt Nam was the top foreign supplier of ceramic tiles in the Phillippines with 2,491 tonnes or a 48 per cent share of imports. From 2014 to 2017, yearly imports from Việt Nam increased to 10,028 tonnes, 21,320 tonnes, 27,176 tonnes and finally 29,622 tonnes. However, Việt Nam’s import share declined from 25 per cent in 2014 to 3.2 per cent in 2017.
In the first half of 2018, the country sent 4,005 tonnes of ceramic floor and wall tiles to the Phillippines, making up 3.32 per cent of imports.
The Trade Remedies Authority of Việt Nam urged Vietnamese exporters to the Philippines to actively prepare for the investigation and provide information to the DTI as required. — VNS