Saudi, India in talks over chemicals anti-dumping

DUBAI, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia and India are in talks over anti-dumping measures taken by India on the imports of polyethylene from Saudi Arabia, the chief executive of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) 2010.SE said on Monday.

“We have submitted our case to the Indian government,” Mohamed Al-Mady told a press conference. “Our lawyers are looking into this. We have submitted our calculation for anti-dumping.”

Anti-dumping measures against petrochemical exports taken by both countries last year interrupted trade flows and hurt businesses in the Gulf region.

Both China and India launched anti-dumping probes of Gulf firms, including Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) 2010.SE, the world's biggest chemicals company by market value, to assess whether methanol was being dumped onto the Chinese market at below-production prices. "You can't fix a price. This is against competition. The market defines the price of the product," Al-Mady said.

In late October, a Saudi official was quoted as saying that China will not impose anti-dumping duties. [ID:nLDE69Q0V3]

“There is discussion going on between governments and we hope this will result in a favourable outcome,” Al-Mady said.

On the outlook for the petrochemicals industry, Al-Mady said global demand growth of around 4 percent this year was likely to continue for another two years.

“We enjoyed good results for the past three quarters. This was helped by a stable oil price and stable growth...I’d expect that situation to continue for at least two years,” he said.

SABIC beat forecasts with a 46 percent rise in third-quarter profit on higher plastic and petrochemical sales, and looked set for at least the same profit level in the fourth quarter. [ID:nLDE69G09A]

High oil prices are positive for petrochemical firms because they increase petrochemical product prices, and SABIC usually does better in terms of profitability than rivals because it buys feedstock at a lower price.

“Things will improve even further from 2013,” Al-Mady said. He predicted that supplies would tighten after 2013 and that demand, particularly from China, would absorb production, which could result in higher prices. (Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Editing by Sue Thomas)