BEIJING - The Ministry of Commerce announced Wednesday it will impose temporary antidumping tariffs on optical fiber imported from the United States and European Union, a move that will help provide a level playing field for the domestic industry, analysts said.
The preliminary ruling required importers of dispersion unshifted single-mode optical fiber, used mainly in high-speed and long-distance telecom transmission, to place a deposit starting on Feb 18, according to a statement posted on the ministry's website.
"Thanks to dumping from abroad, the price of optical fiber has dropped by about 90 percent in the past decade, pushing many domestic companies to the brink of bankruptcy," said Mao Qian, a senior consultant with FiberHome Technologies, a major product and solution provider for information and telecommunication in China.
"Domestic companies are still fragile competing against giants from the US and EU. The current antidumping measures are expected to create a fair environment and facilitate their growth," said Mao.
The commerce ministry set a 4.7 to 18.6 deposit rate for importers of optical fiber from the US and a 17.7 percent to 29.1 percent rate for EU products.
The statement said companies from the US and EU have flooded with their products and caused "substantial damage" to the domestic industry.
It is still unclear how long the temporary measures will remain in effect.
China first imposed antidumping measures on optical fiber imported from Japan and Korea in 2005, and those measures will remain in force until January 2016, according to the ministry.
"Yet, compared with companies from Japan and Korea, US companies have had a much bigger effect on the Chinese market," said Mao.
The Ministry of Commerce launched the antidumping investigation on optical fiber products from the US and European Union on April 22.
Dispersion unshifted single-mode optical fiber is one of the most widely used optical fibers in the world, accounting for 70 percent of the total.
Recent years have seen booming production capacity in the US optical fiber industry amid dwindling demand in the US market, forcing the producers to sell abroad. Meanwhile, China's rising demand has attracted a large influx of exports from the US and EU.
US exports of the product shot up by 163.51 percent in 2009, compared with 2006, accounting for 53.18 percent of its total domestic production, and EU exports rose by 143.5 percent year-on-year in 2009, according to the investigative report from the Chinese ministry.
In 2009, 81.97 of EU optical fiber exports flowed into China, up from 2.93 percent in 2006, while the US exported 47.42 percent of its production to China in 2009, compared with 14 percent in 2006, the report said. As a result, 62.3 percent of China's optical fiber imports came from the US and EU in 2009, up from 40.64 percent in 2006, the report said.