United States trade action against imports of jumbo rolls of aluminium foil from China have shown some encouraging signs in the domestic industry, the Aluminum Association said in a paper released on Tuesday April 23.
Intake of the product from the Asian country declined by 64% between 2017 and 2018, with domestic production also increasing, it said.
The volume of aluminium foil imports from China declined to 97.7 million lbs from 272.4 million lbs during the period following the imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties by the US Commerce Department.
While aluminium foil from China accounted for 60% of all US imports of the product in 2017, that share fell to just 20% in 2018, the trade group said. The average unit value of those imports increased by 16% between 2017 and 2018, to $1.59 per lb from $1.37 per lb.
The Aluminum Association had filed trade remedy petitions in March 2017, and the Commerce Department imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders in April 2018. The combined margins ranged from 55-176%.
Additionally, while China's aluminium exports to the rest of the world surged by 21% in 2018, flows to the US fell by 57.4%, largely due to the anti-dumping and countervailing orders, the Aluminum Association said.
Based on Aluminum Association data, US shipments of aluminium foil increased by 1.6% to 969.6 million pounds in 2018 from 954.2 million pounds in 2017.
Additionally, companies such as JW Aluminum and Granges have announced substantial capital investments in the domestic foil industry – with a combined value of approximately $169 million – to expand and strengthen facilities at which they manufacture aluminium foil.
Apart from foil, there has been increasing legal action against subsidized Chinese aluminium products, including aluminium wire and cable, extrusions and common alloy sheet.