Significant preliminary antidumping (“AD”) duties were imposed on imports of drawn stainless steel sinks from China on September 27, 2012, with cash deposit rates ranging from 54.25 percent to 76.53 percent. These margins had an immediate impact on the volume of imports from China.
The monthly average volume of stainless steel sinks from China in 2012 was 326,000 units. Imports from China dropped to only 127,000 units in October 2012, which represents a decline of 61 percent from the monthly average. It is anticipated that import volume in November will indicate a further substantial decrease, as importers of Chinese stainless steel sinks become more aware of their obligation to deposit duties to offset unfair pricing in the U.S. market. Because Chinese stainless steel sinks represented almost 60 percent of total shipments in the U.S. market in 2011, the decline in imports from China should translate in significant gains in production, sales, and eventually employment for the four remaining U.S. producers -- Elkay Manufacturing, Franke Consumer Products, Just Manufacturing, and Moen Incorporated.
Unfair imports of stainless steel sinks from China increased by 57 percent from 2009 to 2011, even though U.S. demand increased only 7.4 percent during this period. Moreover, even though U.S. demand was increasing, U.S. producers’ production, sales, operating income, and employment were all decreasing. The Chinese sinks were able to gain market share and take sales from the domestic industry due to pervasive underselling. These trends threatened to put the domestic drawn stainless steel sink industry completely out of business. With the imposition of preliminary duties, it is anticipated that all these trends will be reversed, and the U.S. manufacturers will be able to increase production and employment, creating good paying manufacturing jobs.
The Department of Commerce will publish its final AD and countervailing duty (“CVD”) margins in February 2013. The International Trade Commission (“Commission”) will make its final material injury determination in March 2013.