On March 27, 2019, Cooper Natural Resources, Inc., Elementis Global LLC and Searles Valley Minerals, Inc. filed a petition on behalf of the domestic industry with the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) seeking antidumping duties on imports of sodium sulfate anhydrous (SSA) from Canada. According to the petition, SSA imports from Canada are being sold at less than fair value in the United States, causing material injury and threatening further material injury to the U.S. industry if antidumping duties are not imposed.

SSA, also known as disodium sulfate, is a white or off-white, granular, crystallized powder containing 43.64 percent sodium oxide and 56.36 percent sulfur trioxide, with a molecular weight of approximately 142.04, which is registered under the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number 7757-82-6. The product subject to this investigation is sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) that does not contain water, regardless of purity, grade, color, production method and form of packaging, in which the percentage of particles between 20 mesh and 100 mesh ranges from 10-95 percent and the percentage of particles over 100 mesh ranges from 5-90 percent. It is used in the production of several products, including, but not limited to, detergents, pulp and paper, glass, textiles, starch, carpet deodorizers and livestock mineral feed. In their petition, the petitioners state that SSA enters the United States under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 2833.11.50.10, 2833.11.10.00, 2833.11.50.50 and (incorrectly classified under) 2833.19.00.00.

According to the petition, imports of Canadian SSA increased from 39,910 short tons (ST) in 2016, to 55,495 ST in 2017, and to 55,819 ST in 2018, while its average unit value declined from $121/ST in 2016 to $109/ST in 2017, and to $107/ST in 2018. As a result, the petitioners claim that unfairly priced SSA imports are having direct, significant adverse effects on the domestic industry, such as price suppression, resulting in lost in sales and revenue to the U.S. industry.

The petition mentions Saskatchewan Mining and Minerals as the only exporter of the product to the United States at allegedly dumped prices from Canada. The petition does not make public the list of U.S. importers known to import SSA from Canada.

Commerce will determine by April 24, 2019, whether to formally initiate the antidumping investigation and, if Commerce does, the Commission will decide 25 days thereafter whether there is a reasonable indication of existing material injury or threat of material injury to the domestic SSA industry that will require continuation of the investigation.

Thompson Hine is monitoring this matter closely. For additional information or to obtain a copy of the petition, please contact us.