8 Nov 2010 18:42

Imports of large-diameter pipe into Russia grow 6-fold in 2010

MOSCOW. Nov 8 (Interfax) - The import of large-diameter pipe into Russia this year has come to about 400,000 tonnes versus the 60,000 tonnes brought into the country last year, director of the Pipe Industry Development Fund Alexander Deineko said at a briefing at the Russian Metals Market conference on Monday in Moscow.

This is attributable to the expiration of Russia's special protective measures with relation to large-diameter last December, Deineko said. A special protective import duty of 8% was put in place in late 2006 in an environment of rapidly growing imports of such pipe, he said.

"In line with Russian law, the Industry and Trade Ministry did a special study and presented a report to the government. This report was looked over by the commission for protective measures in foreign trade chaired by [First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor] Zubkov. Damages done to enterprises in the sector have been confirmed. If you're talking about the factual side of the deal, imports of large-diameter pipe are growing from 60,000 [tonnes] in 2009 to 400,000 tonnes in 2010," Deineko said.

Deineko expressed the hope that duty protecting the domestic large-diameter pipe market will be reestablished. It is aimed at ensuring conditions for equal competition, he said, adding that the special duty is aimed at giving the sector an opportunity to adapt to free-market conditions.

At the end of last December, the governmental commission for protective measures in foreign trade recommended that the government extend the 8% import duty on large-diameter pipe for a year. The Industry and Trade Ministry had previously proposed it be extended until December 21, 2012.

On the first of this year, a new Customs Union (Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus) customs tariff that sets rates for import duties on goods took force. As per the unified customs tariff, the duty on imports of large-diameter pipe ran from 5% to 15% depending on type.

China and Ukraine are major country-exporters of large-diameter pipe to Russia. There is pertaining to Ukraine a special regime for importing the product that stipulating that shipments from companies in the holding Interpipe get a defined quota without duties being levied. The biggest producers of such pipe in Russia are OJSC Pipe Metallurgical Company , Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Plant (ChTPZ) , CJSC Izhora Pipe Plant (Part of OJSC Severstal ), and BMZ.