The European Commission has proposed re-erecting anti-dumping duties on imports of polyester staple fibres from Belarus, China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea after concluding that lifting them would lead to further dumping of this yarn on European Union (EU) markets.

The protective tariffs had been introduced in 2005 for China and Saudi Arabia, 2002 for Belarus and 2000 for South Korea.

Brussels' decision on renewing all these tariffs - which must be approved by the EU Council of Ministers - follows a review, which concluded that EU producers of polyester staple fibres (PSF) are "benefitting from the measures in force but are still in a vulnerable situation."

It said new plants had been opened by EU producers in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, and France-based Tergal, "an important supplier of the spinning industry, has overcome its financial difficulties…"

That said, the commission added that the "financial situation [of EU PSF producers] is still precarious and cannot face a sudden influx of dumped imports."

As a result, the maintenance of the duties "will provide substantial benefits… and contribute in all likelihood to the restoration of its viability."

The applicable rates are 10.6% for South Korean, 21% for Belarus, 20.9% for Saudi Arabia and 49.7% for China exports, with some companies paying lower duties.

By Keith Nuthall.