In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, Vitamin C has become a new saviour. Who doesn’t love some chilled lemonade on a hot sunny day?. Vitamin C is the new blooming skincare ingredient too. It is not only found in foods but is sold massively as a dietary supplement along with ethyl ascorbic acid, which is found and sold in skincare products. Why is vitamin C so significant? The answer is quite simple: vitamin C helps us get the required absorption of iron, promotes repairment of tissues, and most importantly, is responsible for certain enzymes that help in the production of the brainy neurotransmitters. In short, vitamin C is all really healthy and boosts immunity. Another reason to love Vitamin C is that it provides the skin a radiant glow and promotes supple bounce onto the skin. This valuable antioxidant was preached widely to be incorporated, especially in the battle against coronavirus. As if all this is not already enough for us to love Vitamin C, it is also incorporated by the pharmaceutical companies in order to produce several kinds of medicines. The Indian council for medical research (ICHR) has, in fact, prescribed vitamin C in order to give us an immunity boost against Covid.
BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS ANTI-DUMPING?
In international trade jargon, dumping is the result of exporting an item at a relatively lower price compared to the price present in the domestic market. Dumping impacts the price of the country that is importing it. This ultimately hits the margins along with the profits of the manufacturing firms. What do the global trade norms have to say about this? Any country is legally allowed to impose tariffs on the dumped product so as to provide an all-level playing field. This level playing field offers a competitive edge to the domestic manufacturers. The DGTR (The Directorate General of Trade Remedies) is responsible for imposing such duties after carrying out a detailed and careful investigation. Such a judicial body’s crucial goals are to ensure practices that are fair in trading. Fair enough!
India and China are the only two phenomenal manufacturers of useful vitamin C in bulk. The DGTR mentioned that there have been impacts on the domestic industry due to the dumped imports. This anti-dumping duty is imposed especially on the vitamin C that is used for medicinal productions. The anti-dumping duty on vitamin C was imposed by DGTR With the aim of guarding domestic manufacturers against cheap imports. For the ones who don’t know what exactly DGTR is, it is a significant arm of the commerce ministry’s investigation. The DGTR’s aim is to protect the equality that should persist in the domestic industry. This anti-dumping duty imposed by DGTR in its preparatory findings ranges from USD 3.20 per KG to USD 3.55 per KG. The duty is only recommended by DGTR, and the final call for imposition can only be allowed when the Finance Ministry agrees for the same. The conclusion of the DGTR’s probe mentioned that the selling price has been breached as the imports from China are being received by the domestic market at lower prices. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) gives the permission to impose any such anti-dumping duties. It is a Geneva-based organisation of which India and China are old members. WTO, Needless to say, deals with global trade norms.
When was the anti-dumping investigation conducted? The investigation spanned from April 2016 to March 2020. It may come as a shock to you that the anti-dumping duty on imports of Vitamin C has been imposed by the authority since the year 1998. Vitamin C acted as a magnet to anti-dumping duty. No wonder the importing of our star ingredient vitamin C has increased over the years regardless of the imposition of anti-dumping duty.
A BRIEF LOOK INTO STATISTICS
India imported a total of 783 metric tonnes of vitamin C bulk from China from 2016 to 2017. From 2017 to 2018, the stats went high up to 1288, followed by 117 metric tonnes from 2018 to 19. Finally, from April 2019 to March 2020, which was also the investigation period, 868 metric tonnes of vitamin C were imported. It is safe to say that China actually has a sort of monopoly on world vitamin C production. The Chinese manufacturers profit heavily as they receive a 13% tax back from the Chinese government upon the exportation of vitamin C. A recent conclusion was passed by DGTR stating that the domestic industry saw a rise in production and capacity utilisation. Nevertheless, the domestic sales did witness a decline in terms of importation of vitamin C from China. The authority needs to note that even though the domestic industries inventory levels spiked, its performance saw some serious downfall in terms of profits, cash profits, and return on capital due to the Chinese import.
The domestic industry has been significantly injured and affected materialistically due to the dump imports. In the comparison of the normal value and export value of vitamin C, the dumping margins have been clearly determined to be huge, and these margins are nothing less than majorly impactful.
by Harshita Kirnalli