Anti-dumping enquiry on offset printing plates initiated

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TechNova, the leading (and some would say monopoly) producer of aluminum offset printing plates in India, has again initiated the imposition of anti-dumping duty on imported offset plates. The directorate general of trade remedies (DGTR) of the Ministry of Commerce will probe the alleged dumping of ‘digital offset printing plates’ from five countries – China, Japan, Taiwan, Taiwan and Vietnam. The allegation is that plates from these countries are being exported to India at ex-factory prices that are below the normal value of these plates and thus causing harm to Indian manufacturers (namely TechNova Imaging Systems).

In its notification, the DGTR says it has ‘sufficient evidence of dumping’ and that the investigation is to determine ‘the existence, degree and effect of alleged dumping and to recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty, which if levied, would be adequate to remove injury to the domestic industry.’

Readers will remember that it was on 1 June 2018 that the anti-dumping duties on the import of digital offset plates from China, instituted in 2012 for five years, were rescinded. These were to have expired in 2017, but were extended for one year and a sunset review was initiated. The findings were that continuation of the anti-dumping duties were no longer warranted.

In the past year TechNova has itself been importing offset plates from China for sale in India. Perhaps this was a way of gathering information that will help it in its current application to have anti-dumping duties imposed again. Offset plate importers and traders say that if a plate manufacturer is itself importing plates to satisfy the Indian market, how can it claim that it fulfils Indian printers’ needs as far as quality, quantity and in terms of price performance. Indian printers are in fact impressed by the quality, competitiveness and ready availability of imported offset plates.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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