Pakistan's National Tariff Commission (NTC) has decided to remove anti-dumping duty on imports of polyester staple fibre (PSF) from China after a four-month evaluation.

The provisional duty was imposed in December at the request of ICI Pakistan Limited and Ibrahim Fibers Limited. The levy paid over this period can now be refunded, said sources at the NTC.

There are just five polyester producers in Pakistan, including Dewan Salman Fibers, Ibrahim Fibers, ICI Polyester, Pakistan Synthetics, and Rupali Polyester, with an annual installed capacity of around 674,000 tons.

However, 40% of domestic polyester capacities have been closed since December 2008, and textile makers annually import more than 100,000 tons PSF from China and the Far East.

Imports from Indonesia, Korea, and Thailand are still restricted by the anti-dumping duties.

Polyester imports are a necessity for the textile industry given the domestic shortfall in production, explains Wisal A Monnoo, acting chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), who hopes the removal if duties will increase the country's textile exports.

A spokesperson for Ibrahim Fiber told just-style that a new facility producing 227,000 tons of polyester a year started commercial production in January this year - but warned a rise in imports would discourage further investment in the domestic polyester sector.