Cement manufacturers warned of an influx of low cost imported cement in the coming months following the reduction of the safeguard duties on the commodity.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is studying a request of the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (Cemap) or the postponement of the reduction of the safeguard duties on imported cement from P10 to P9 that took effect Oct. 22, 2020, the second year of the imposition of the protective tariff.
Cirilo Pestaño II, Cemap executive director, in a letter to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez instead asked the DTI to raise the tariff by P2 per bag to P12 per bag which is the equivalent duty during the provisional safeguards period.
In the July 28, 2020 letter, Pestano said cement imports are bouncing back as the first half of 2020, posting a 14 growth while the local cement industry “is on the negative territory.”
Cemap noted the tend will continue if tariffs are lowered.
The group saidthe trend could continue with higher surplus and lower prices from Vietnam, a major source of imports as well as lower freight costs.