Till last week, the plastic bag segment were dominated by the Chinese, Malaysian and Thailand exporters, which used to export at very low cost in the US market. But after the levy of anti-dumping duties on these three countries, export opportunities to the US has been thrown open to other countries, including India.
On July 15, 2004, the US government had slapped anti-dumping duties on imports of plastic grocery and shopping bags from China, Malaysia, and Thailand. This is because imports from these three countries have materially injured the USA industry.
The final dumping margins range from 19.79 per cent to 77.57 per cent for China, from 84.94 per cent to 101.74 per cent for Malaysia, and from 2.26 per cent to 122.88 per cent for Thailand.
The duties apply to imports of bags made in China, Malaysia, or Thailand, even if they are trans-shipped through other countries on the way to the United States.
Sources in The Plastics Export Promotion Council (Plexconcil) say, With the anti-dumping duty slapped on three major plastic bags exporters, India has a good chance to enter the US market. Indian plastic products are superior to the international brands.
Indias leading plastic bag maker Preeti Plastic - chief marketing officer, Anand Dugad, said: In the international market, the countries like China, Thailand and Malaysia are the major exporters and no other countries can compete against their prices. But after the US levied anti-dumping duties against these countries, the US market will be available to other countries including India.
Indias total plastic export goods during the year 2003-04 was placed at around $950 million and is growing at 10-15 per cent annually. In this, plastic bags export is very marginal.
Indias share in plastic bags exports in the global trade is still insignificant. Internationally, Indian plastic bags exporters are facing tough competition due to costs. Aggressive competitive strategies adopted by countries like China, Malaysia, Thailand and other countries were detrimental to the growth of Indian exports, Mr Dugad said.
We are looking for newer markets, which can help boost our plastic bags exports, Mr Dugad said and added that, special emphasis will be laid on export of low-price plastic bags to the US, where currently Indian plastic bags are hardly exported.