The Directorate General of Trade Remedies has initiated the anti-dumping duty investigation concerning imports of plain (thin) MDF boards having thickness of less than 6mm originating in or exported from Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. If the injury due to dumped imports is proven it may result in imposing anti-dumping duty on MDF imported from these countries which will in turn narrow the price gap between domestic MDF and the imported ones. South based MDF manufacturers like Greenpanel Industries is likely to benefit from this move. Even Rushil Decor is setting up MDF manufacturing unit in South India.
It should be noted that thick MDF boards (having thickness of 6mm and above) imported into India from Indonesia and Vietnam already attracts ADD since 2009. However, there is no ADD on thinner variety which has resulted in dumping of the materials by these countries into Indian market thereby affecting domestic manufacturers. Dumping has affected the prices of the materials substantially in the Southern market. Presently, pricing differential between domestic and imported MDF is as high as 25-30%. The DGTR, after assessing significant dumping margin on the basis of prima facie evidence submitted by the domestic industry, has now initiated original ADD investigation on imports of thin MDF boards originating in or exported from Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.
Currently, imports of MDF into India are estimated at 250,000 CBM/annum. Imposition of CVD may further narrow down this gap and discourage imports. Quantum of countervailing duty is likely to be in the range of 12-15% across MDF thicknesses and is likely to be notified by May/Jun 2020.
Many of the domestic plywood manufacturers have ventured into MDF manufacturing and the material is competing with the lower end plywood. Excess capacity created in the industry during 2018-19 had substantially put pressure on the domestic price of the material. However, over the last 2-3 quarters, the category margins have improved with top players maintaining pricing discipline in particular.