China has cut the anti-dumping duties it is imposing on Saudi Arabia’s Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) by more than 75 per cent after talks between Riyadh and Beijing.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce told Sipchem on 26 December that it would only impose a 4.5 per cent anti-dumping duty on butanediol, which the Saudi petrochemicals maker exports to the Asian state from December onwards.

This is a significant decrease from the 20.9 per cent duty which was first levied against Sipchem in May after allegations of dumping were first exposed. Chinese chemicals makers said that Saudi Arabian and Taiwanese firms were flooding the market with chemicals, which they were selling at prices below their own production costs to capture market share and get rid of excess production.

Sipchem and its butanediol-producing subsidiary International Diol Company both strenuously denied the claims, and Riyadh is believed to have applied pressure on Beijing to drop the charges.

According to Sipchem, the foreign ministry, the Saudi chambers of commerce, and the Saudi commerce ministry all made appeals to Chinese commerce ministry.

In October, the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association accused China, India, and Europe of anti-competitive measures against Middle East petrochemicals producers after anti-dumping investigations were opened in all three regions (MEED 12:10:09).