Brazils’ Federal Secretary of Foreign Trade (Secex) has opened an anti-dumping investigation into imports of polypropylene resin from India, South Korea and South Africa, following a complaint from local petrochemical giant Braskem that it's being harmed by low-cost imports, as per Plastics News. Secex will also investigate whether South Africa and India are providing subsidies to domestic PP producers. Braskem claims that resin imports from the three countries have increased 582% over the past five years, from 19,600 metric tons between April 2007 and March 2008, to 133,900 tons between April 2011 and March 2012. Brazil's Chamber of Foreign Trade (Camex) has issued trade actions favourable to Braskem in the past, including in December 2010, when it applied an anti-dumping measure against PP resin imports from the United States for five years, at US$82.7/ton.
Braskem is the leading producer of thermoplastic resins in Latin America and the US, following its purchase of polypropylene assets of Dow Chemical. The company serves 70% of Brazilian demand in PP, PE and PVC resins, but foreign resin imports have gained Brazilian market share in recent years. Brazil's annual consumption of PP is estimated at 1.4 million tons this year, with resin quoted between US$2,200 and US$2,400/ton. Braskem has been a target of criticism by plastics processors over its perceived dominance of the resins market. Brazil's import tariff on foreign PP is 14%, but could increase. Brazil's federal government raised the import tariff on PE in late 2012 from 14-20%.