OCTAL rejects dumping claim

Oman-based petrochemicals firm OCTAL, one of the world’s largest producers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) sheet for the global packaging industry, has stoutly rejected claims it is “dumping” its products in the US market as alleged by rival American producers. “We do not dump,” an official of the Salalah-based firm declared yesterday. “Our exports into the US market are based on our (competitive) cost structure,” the official stressed.
The comments came during a press briefing hosted by OCTAL to announce the signing of $625 million in banking facilities to support the ambitious expansion of its complex in the Salalah Free Zone, adjoining Port of Salalah.
The United States in an important and growing market for OCTAL’s PET sheet, which is widely used in all kinds of food, beverage and retail packaging.
Last week, three leading American PET sheet manufacturers — Advanced Extrusion Inc, Ex-Tech Plastics, and Multi-Plastics Extrusions — filed a petition alleging that imports of PET sheet from Oman, Korea, and Mexico were “being sold at less than fair value in the United States and causing material injury to the domestic industry”.
The petitions filed with the US Department of Commerce and US International Trade Commission claimed that “unfairly traded” PET sheet from the three countries surged in the US market in the first quarter of this year, thereby “causing significant financial harm to the domestic industry”.
OCTAL’s Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Barakat said the company is awaiting further clarity on the nature of petition filed by the US firms, and voiced confidence that Oman’s authorities would step in with legal assistance to support the company in contesting the claim.
Ahmed al Najjar, Director of Government Affairs at OCTAL, said the company always counted on the Omani government, chiefly the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and ROP Customs, to defend the interests of Omani exports in matters relating to dumping claims.