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Notice

Preliminary Results of Antidumping Administrative Review: Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils From France

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of preliminary results in the antidumping duty administrative review of stainless steel sheet and strip in coils from France.

SUMMARY:

In response to a request from Ugine S.A. (“Ugine”), the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Department”) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on stainless steel sheet and strip (“SSSS”) from France for the period January 4, 1999 through June 30, 2000. The Department preliminarily determines that a dumping margin exists for Ugine's sales of SSSS in the United States. If these preliminary results are adopted in our final results of this administrative review, we will instruct the U.S. Customs Service to assess antidumping duties on entries of Ugine's merchandise during the period of review. The preliminary results are listed in the section titled “Preliminary Results of Review,” infra.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

August 8, 2001.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert Bolling or James Doyle, Enforcement Group III, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-3434, or 202-482-0159, respectively.

Applicable Statute and Regulations

Unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“Act”), are references to the provisions effective January 1, 1995, the effective date of the amendments made to the Act by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (“URAA”). In addition, unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the Department's regulations are to the regulations codified at 19 CFR Part 351 (2001).

Background

On July 27, 1999, the Department published in the Federal Register the amended antidumping duty order on SSSS from France. See Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order; Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils from France, 64 FR 40562 (July 27, 1999). On July 20, 2000, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” of this antidumping duty order on stainless steel sheet and strip in coils from France for the period January 4, 1999 through June 30, 2000. See Opportunity to Request Administrative Review 65 FR 45035 (July 20, 2000). On July 28, 2000, Ugine, a French producer and exporter of subject merchandise, requested that the Department conduct a review of its sales of the Department's antidumping duty order on SSSS from France. On September 6, 2000, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of this antidumping duty administrative review for the period January 4, 1999 through June 30, 2000. See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Requests for Revocation in Part, 65 FR 53980 (September 6, 2000).

On October 16, 2000, Ugine reported that it made sales of subject merchandise to the United States during the period of review in its response to Section A of the Department's questionnaire. On November 7, 2000, Ugine submitted its responses to Sections B, C, D, and E of the Department's questionnaire. On December 21, 2000, the Department issued a supplemental questionnaire for Sections A and B of Ugine's questionnaire response. On January 5, 2001, the Department issued a supplemental questionnaire for Section C of Ugine's questionnaire response. On January 25, 2001, the Department published an extension of time limit for the preliminary results of the antidumping duty administrative review. See Extension of Time Limit for the Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coil from France, 66 FR 7738 (January 25, 2001). On January 26, 2001, the Department issued a supplemental questionnaire for Sections D and E of Ugine's questionnaire response. On January 29, 2001, February 9, 2001, and February 23, 2001, Ugine submitted its response to the Department's first set of supplemental questionnaires. On March 29, 2001, the Department issued its second supplemental questionnaire for Sections A through E of Ugine's supplemental response. On April 13, 2001, Ugine submitted its response to the second supplemental questionnaire. On June 19, 2001, the Department published an extension of time limit for the preliminary results of the antidumping duty administrative review. See Extension of Time Limit for the Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coil from France, 66 FR 32936 (June 19, 2001).

Scope of Review

For purposes of this administrative review, the products covered are certain stainless steel sheet and strip in coils. Stainless steel is an alloy steel containing, by weight, 1.2 percent or less of carbon and 10.5 percent or more of chromium, with or without other elements. The subject sheet and strip is a flat-rolled product in coils that is greater than 9.5 mm in width and less than 4.75 mm in thickness, and that is annealed or otherwise heat treated and pickled or otherwise descaled. The subject sheet and strip may also be further processed (e.g., cold-rolled, polished, aluminized, coated, etc.) provided that it maintains the specific dimensions of sheet and strip following such processing.

The merchandise subject to this order is currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTS”) at subheadings: 7219.13.0031, 7219.13.0051, 7219.13.0071, 7219.1300.81,[1] 7219.14.0030, 7219.14.0065, 7219.14.0090, 7219.32.0005, 7219.32.0020, 7219.32.0025, 7219.32.0035, 7219.32.0036, 7219.32.0038, 7219.32.0042, 7219.32.0044, 7219.33.0005, 7219.33.0020, 7219.33.0025, 7219.33.0035, 7219.33.0036, 7219.33.0038, 7219.33.0042, 7219.33.0044, 7219.34.0005, 7219.34.0020, 7219.34.0025, 7219.34.0030, 7219.34.0035, 7219.35.0005, 7219.35.0015, 7219.35.0030, 7219.35.0035, 7219.90.0010, 7219.90.0020, 7219.90.0025, 7219.90.0060, 7219.90.0080, 7220.12.1000, 7220.12.5000, 7220.20.1010, 7220.20.1015, 7220.20.1060, 7220.20.1080, 7220.20.6005, 7220.20.6010, 7220.20.6015, Start Printed Page 415397220.20.6060, 7220.20.6080, 7220.20.7005, 7220.20.7010, 7220.20.7015, 7220.20.7060, 7220.20.7080, 7220.20.8000, 7220.20.9030, 7220.20.9060, 7220.90.0010, 7220.90.0015, 7220.90.0060, and 7220.90.0080. Although the HTS subheadings are provided for convenience and Customs purposes, the Department's written description of the merchandise under review is dispositive.

Excluded from the review of this order are the following: (1) Sheet and strip that is not annealed or otherwise heat treated and pickled or otherwise descaled, (2) sheet and strip that is cut to length, (3) plate (i.e., flat-rolled stainless steel products of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more), (4) flat wire (i.e., cold-rolled sections, with a prepared edge, rectangular in shape, of a width of not more than 9.5 mm), and (5) razor blade steel. Razor blade steel is a flat-rolled product of stainless steel, not further worked than cold-rolled (cold-reduced), in coils, of a width of not more than 23 mm and a thickness of 0.266 mm or less, containing, by weight, 12.5 to 14.5 percent chromium, and certified at the time of entry to be used in the manufacture of razor blades. See Chapter 72 of the HTS, “Additional U.S. Note” 1(d).

Flapper valve steel is also excluded from the scope of the order. This product is defined as stainless steel strip in coils containing, by weight, between 0.37 and 0.43 percent carbon, between 1.15 and 1.35 percent molybdenum, and between 0.20 and 0.80 percent manganese. This steel also contains, by weight, phosphorus of 0.025 percent or less, silicon of between 0.20 and 0.50 percent, and sulfur of 0.020 percent or less. The product is manufactured by means of vacuum arc remelting, with inclusion controls for sulphide of no more than 0.04 percent and for oxide of no more than 0.05 percent. Flapper valve steel has a tensile strength of between 210 and 300 ksi, yield strength of between 170 and 270 ksi, plus or minus 8 ksi, and a hardness (Hv) of between 460 and 590. Flapper valve steel is most commonly used to produce specialty flapper valves in compressors.

Also excluded is a product referred to as suspension foil, a specialty steel product used in the manufacture of suspension assemblies for computer disk drives. Suspension foil is described as 302/304 grade or 202 grade stainless steel of a thickness between 14 and 127 microns, with a thickness tolerance of plus-or-minus 2.01 microns, and surface glossiness of 200 to 700 percent Gs. Suspension foil must be supplied in coil widths of not more than 407 mm, and with a mass of 225 kg or less. Roll marks may only be visible on one side, with no scratches of measurable depth. The material must exhibit residual stresses of 2 mm maximum deflection, and flatness of 1.6 mm over 685 mm length.

Certain stainless steel foil for automotive catalytic converters is also excluded from the scope of this order. This stainless steel strip in coils is a specialty foil with a thickness of between 20 and 110 microns used to produce a metallic substrate with a honeycomb structure for use in automotive catalytic converters. The steel contains, by weight, carbon of no more than 0.030 percent, silicon of no more than 1.0 percent, manganese of no more than 1.0 percent, chromium of between 19 and 22 percent, aluminum of no less than 5.0 percent, phosphorus of no more than 0.045 percent, sulfur of no more than 0.03 percent, lanthanum of less than 0.002 or greater than 0.05 percent, and total rare earth elements of more than 0.06 percent, with the balance iron.

Permanent magnet iron-chromium-cobalt alloy stainless strip is also excluded from the scope of this order. This ductile stainless steel strip contains, by weight, 26 to 30 percent chromium, and 7 to 10 percent cobalt, with the remainder of iron, in widths 228.6 mm or less, and a thickness between 0.127 and 1.270 mm. It exhibits magnetic remanence between 9,000 and 12,000 gauss, and a coercivity of between 50 and 300 oersteds. This product is most commonly used in electronic sensors and is currently available under proprietary trade names such as “Arnokrome III.” [2]

Certain electrical resistance alloy steel is also excluded from the scope of this order. This product is defined as a non-magnetic stainless steel manufactured to American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification B344 and containing, by weight, 36 percent nickel, 18 percent chromium, and 46 percent iron, and is most notable for its resistance to high temperature corrosion. It has a melting point of 1390 degrees Celsius and displays a creep rupture limit of 4 kilograms per square millimeter at 1000 degrees Celsius. This steel is most commonly used in the production of heating ribbons for circuit breakers and industrial furnaces, and in rheostats for railway locomotives. The product is currently available under proprietary trade names such as “Gilphy 36.” [3]

Certain martensitic precipitation-hardenable stainless steel is also excluded from the scope of this order. This high-strength, ductile stainless steel product is designated under the Unified Numbering System (UNS) as S45500-grade steel, and contains, by weight, 11 to 13 percent chromium, and 7 to 10 percent nickel. Carbon, manganese, silicon and molybdenum each comprise, by weight, 0.05 percent or less, with phosphorus and sulfur each comprising, by weight, 0.03 percent or less. This steel has copper, niobium, and titanium added to achieve aging, and will exhibit yield strengths as high as 1700 Mpa and ultimate tensile strengths as high as 1750 Mpa after aging, with elongation percentages of 3 percent or less in 50 mm. It is generally provided in thicknesses between 0.635 and 0.787 mm, and in widths of 25.4 mm. This product is most commonly used in the manufacture of television tubes and is currently available under proprietary trade names such as “Durphynox 17.” [4]

Finally, three specialty stainless steels typically used in certain industrial blades and surgical and medical instruments are also excluded from the scope of this order. These include stainless steel strip in coils used in the production of textile cutting tools (e.g., carpet knives).[5] This steel is similar to AISI grade 420 but containing, by weight, 0.5 to 0.7 percent of molybdenum. The steel also contains, by weight, carbon of between 1.0 and 1.1 percent, sulfur of 0.020 percent or less, and includes between 0.20 and 0.30 percent copper and between 0.20 and 0.50 percent cobalt. This steel is sold under proprietary names such as “GIN4 Mo.” The second excluded stainless steel strip in coils is similar to AISI 420-J2 and contains, by weight, carbon of between 0.62 and 0.70 percent, silicon of between 0.20 and 0.50 percent, manganese of between 0.45 and 0.80 percent, phosphorus of no more than 0.025 percent and sulfur of no more than 0.020 percent. This steel has a carbide density on average of 100 carbide particles per 100 square microns. An example of this product is “GIN5” steel. The third specialty steel has a chemical composition similar to AISI 420 F, with carbon of between 0.37 and 0.43 percent, molybdenum of between 1.15 and 1.35 percent, but lower manganese of between 0.20 and 0.80 percent, phosphorus of no more than 0.025 percent, silicon of between 0.20 and 0.50 percent, and sulfur of no Start Printed Page 41540more than 0.020 percent. This product is supplied with a hardness of more than Hv 500 guaranteed after customer processing, and is supplied as, for example, “GIN6''.[6]

Verification

As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, we verified the information submitted by Ugine for use in our preliminary results. We used standard verification procedures, including examination of relevant accounting and production records and original source documents provided by Ugine. We verified sales and cost information provided by Ugine from May 2, 2001 to May 11, 2001. Additionally, we verified Ugine's U.S. subsidiary, Uginox Steel Corporation (“Uginox”), from May 30, 2001 through June 1, 2001. Further, we verified Ugine and Uginox's U.S. subsidiary, Hague Steel Corp. (“Hague”), from June 19, 2001 through June 22, 2001. Our verification results are outlined in the public version of the verification report and are on file in the Central Records Unit (“CRU”) located in room B-099 of the main Department of Commerce Building, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC.

Product Comparison

In accordance with section 771(16) of the Act, we considered all SSSS products produced by Ugine, covered by the description in the “Scope of Review” section of this notice, supra, and sold in the home market during the POR to be foreign like products for the purpose of determining appropriate product comparisons to SSSS products sold in the United States. We have relied on nine characteristics to match U.S. sales of subject merchandise to comparison sales of the foreign like product (listed in order of preference): grade, hot/cold rolled, gauge, finish, metallic coating, non-metallic coating, width, tempered/tensile strength, and edge trim. The Department's questionnaire authorized respondents to make distinctions (sub-codes) within some of these characteristics, but not within others. For certain product characteristics (i.e., finish and coating) Ugine reported additional sub-codes which were specifically permitted by the Department's questionnaire. However, Ugine also reported additional sub-codes in its hot/cold rolled, and tempered product characteristic categories. These are characteristics for which the Department's questionnaire did not explicitly permit sub-codes. Nevertheless, for this preliminary results, the Department has included the additional codes that Ugine reported in the aforementioned categories in the Department's product matching methodology. See Analysis Memo from Robert Bolling to The File, dated July 31, 2001. At verification, we reviewed respondent's claims for the additional sub-codes. See Home Market Sales and Cost Verification Report of Ugine at pages 6 and 7, dated July 31, 2001. In light of our findings at verification, we conclude that the use of these additional codes is appropriate, and have included these codes in the Department's product matching methodology. Where there were no sales of identical merchandise in the home market to compare to U.S. sales, we compared U.S. sales to the next most similar foreign like product on the basis of the characteristics listed in the September 8, 2000 antidumping duty questionnaire and instructions, or to constructed value (“CV”), as appropriate.

Export Price/Constructed Export Price

We calculated CEP in accordance with section 772(b) of the Act because the first sales to an unaffiliated purchaser took place after the subject merchandise was imported into the United States.

We based CEP on the packed ex-warehouse or delivered prices to unaffiliated purchasers in the United States. Where appropriate, we made deductions from the starting price for discounts, credit, warranty expenses, and commissions. We also made deductions for the following movement expenses, where appropriate, in accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act: inland freight from plant to distribution warehouse, international freight, marine insurance, U.S. inland freight from port to warehouse, U.S. inland freight from warehouse/plant to the unaffiliated customer, U.S. warehouse expenses, other U.S. transportation expense, and U.S. Customs duties. In accordance with section 772(d)(1) of the Act, we deducted selling expenses associated with economic activities occurring in the United States, including direct selling expenses, inventory carrying costs, and other indirect selling expenses. We recalculated credit expenses for those Uginox sales with missing payment dates because payment has not yet been made. For sales with missing payment dates, the Department set the date of payment as the projected preliminary results date. For a further explanation, see Analysis Memo from Robert Bolling to The File, dated July 31, 2001. Additionally, we recalculated certain commissions for Hague because at Hague's verification we discovered that for certain U.S. sales, Hague did not pay an arm's length price to the sales agent. See Hague Verification Report at page 11, dated July 25, 2001. We also adjusted the starting price for billing adjustments to the invoice price and freight revenue.

For products that were further manufactured after importation, we adjusted for all costs of further manufacturing in the United States in accordance with section 772(d)(2) of the Act. We deducted the profit allocated to expenses deducted under section 772(d)(1) and (d)(2) in accordance with sections 772(d)(3) and 772(f) of the Act. In accordance with section 772(f) of the Act, we computed profit based on total revenues realized on sales in both the U.S. and home markets, less all expenses associated with those sales. We then allocated profit to expenses incurred with respect to U.S. economic activity (including further manufacturing costs), based on the ratio of total U.S. expenses to total expenses for both the U.S. and home market.

In our U.S. CEP calculation, we included all downstream sales from Edgcomb Metals Company (“Edgcomb”), International Specialty Tube Corporation (“ISTC”), Hague, and J&L Specialty Steel, Inc., reported in respondent's November 7, 2000 submission.

Additionally, on March 29, 2001, the Department requested that Ugine report all U.S. sales of subject merchandise of its home market affiliated producer, IUP, during the POR. IUP sold subject merchandise to the United States through Ugine's affiliated super-distributor Uginox and through Rahns Specialty Metal, Inc. (“Rahns”), an unaffiliated distributor. For the preliminary results, we have included all of IUP's U.S. sales of subject merchandise that went through both Uginox and Rahns during the POR.

Normal Value

After testing home market viability, as discussed below, we calculated normal value (“NV”) as noted in the “Price-to-CV Comparisons” and “Price-to-Price Comparisons” sections of this notice.

1. Home Market Viability

In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(C) of the Act, to determine whether there was sufficient volume of sales in the home market to serve as a viable basis for calculating NV (i.e., the aggregate volume of home market sales of the foreign like product is greater than or equal to five percent of the aggregate volume of U.S. sales), we Start Printed Page 41541compared Ugine's volume of home market sales of the foreign like product to the volume of U.S. sales of the subject merchandise. Because Ugine's aggregate volume of home market sales of the foreign like product was greater than five percent of its aggregate volume of U.S. sales for the subject merchandise, we determined that the home market was viable. We therefore based NV on home market sales.

Price-to-Price Comparisons

For those product comparisons for which there were sales at prices above the cost of production (“COP”), we based NV on prices to home market customers. We calculated NV based on prices to unaffiliated home market customers. Where appropriate, we deducted discounts, rebates, credit expenses, warranty expenses, inland freight, inland insurance, and warehousing expense. We also adjusted the starting price for billing adjustments and freight revenue. We also made adjustments, where applicable, for home market indirect selling expenses to offset U.S. commissions in CEP comparisons.

We recalculated credit expenses for those sales with missing payment dates. For sales with missing payment dates, the Department set the date of payment to the projected preliminary results date. See Analysis Memo from Robert Bolling to The File, dated July 30, 2001.

We made adjustments, where appropriate, for physical differences in the merchandise in accordance with section 773(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the Act. Additionally, in accordance with section 773(a)(6), we deducted home market packing costs and added U.S. packing costs. In accordance with the Department's practice, where all contemporaneous matches to a U.S. sale observation resulted in difference-in-merchandise adjustments exceeding 20 percent of the cost of manufacturing (“COM”) of the U.S. product, we based NV on CV.

For reasons discussed below in the “Level of Trade” section, we allowed a CEP offset for comparisons made at different levels of trade. To calculate the CEP offset, we deducted the home market indirect selling expenses from normal value for home market sales that were compared to U.S. CEP sales. We limited the home market indirect selling expense deduction by the amount of the indirect selling expenses deducted in calculating the CEP as required under section 772(d)(1)(D) of the Act.

Arm's-Length Sales

Ugine reported that it made sales in the home market to affiliated end users. Sales to affiliated customers in the home market not made at arm's length were excluded from our analysis. To test whether these sales were made at arm's length, we compared the starting prices of sales to affiliated and unaffiliated customers net of all movement charges, direct selling expenses, discounts and packing. Where prices to the affiliated party were on average 99.5 percent or more of the price to the unrelated party, we determined that sales made to the related party were at arm's length. Where no affiliated customer ratio could be calculated because identical merchandise was not sold to unaffiliated customers, we were unable to determine that these sales were made at arm's length and, therefore, excluded them from our analysis. See e.g., Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Cold-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from Argentina, 58 FR 37062, 37077 (July 9, 1993). Where the exclusion of such sales eliminated all sales of the most appropriate comparison product, we made comparisons to the next most similar model. In our home market NV calculation, we have included Ugine's sales to its affiliated resellers, Ugine France Service (“UFS”) and Imphy Ugine Precision (“IUP”), because both UFS and IUP pass the Department's arm's length test criteria. Therefore, we have not included UFS nor IUP's downstream sales to its other affiliated resellers (i.e., Bernier, PUM, Paturle, and PMA).

Price-to-CV Comparisons

In accordance with section 773(a)(4) of the Act, we based NV on CV if we were unable to find a home market match of identical or similar merchandise. We calculated CV based on the costs of materials and fabrication employed in producing the subject merchandise, selling, general and administrative expenses (“SG&A”), and profit. In accordance with section 773(e)(2)(A) of the Act, we based SG&A expense and profit on the amounts incurred and realized by the respondent in connection with the production and sale of the foreign like product in the ordinary course of trade for consumption in France. For selling expenses, we used the weighted-average home market selling expenses. Where appropriate, we made adjustments to CV in accordance with section 773(a)(8) of the Act. We deducted from CV the weighted-average home market direct selling expenses.

1. Cost of Production Analysis

Because we disregarded sales below the cost of production from the Less-Than-Fair-Value (“LTFV”) investigation, the most-recently completed segment of these proceedings, we have reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that sales by Ugine in its home market were made at prices below the COP, pursuant to section 773(b)(1) of the Act. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils from France, 64 FR 308204 (June 8, 1999) (“Final Determination”). Therefore, pursuant to section 773 (b)(1) of the Act, we conducted a COP analysis of home market sales by Ugine.

A. Calculation of COP

In accordance with section 773(b)(3) of the Act, we calculated a weighted-average COP based on the sum of Ugine's cost of materials and fabrication for the foreign like product, plus amounts for general and administrative expenses (“G&A”), including interest expenses, and packing costs. We relied on the COP data submitted by Ugine in its original and supplemental cost questionnaire responses. For these preliminary results, we did not make any adjustments to Ugine's submitted costs.

B. Test of Home Market Prices

We compared the weighted-average COP for Ugine to home market sales of the foreign like product, as required under section 773(b) of the Act, in order to determine whether these sales had been made at prices below the COP. In determining whether to disregard home market sales made at prices below the COP, we examined whether such sales were made (1) within an extended period of time in substantial quantities, and (2) at prices which permitted the recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time in the normal course of trade, in accordance with section 773(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act. On a product-specific basis, we compared the COP to home market prices, less any applicable billing adjustments, movement charges, discounts, and direct and indirect selling expenses.

C. Results of the COP Test

Pursuant to section 773(b)(2)(C) of the Act, where less than 20 percent of Ugine's sales of a given product were at prices less than the COP, we did not disregard any below-cost sales of that product because we determined that the below-cost sales were not made in “substantial quantities.” Where 20 percent or more of Ugine's sales of a given product during the POR were at prices less than the COP, we determined that such sales have been made in Start Printed Page 41542“substantial quantities” within an extended period of time, in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(B) of the Act. In such cases, because we use POR average costs, we also determined that such sales were not made at prices which would permit recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time, in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(D) of the Act. Therefore, we disregarded the below-cost sales.

D. Calculation of Constructed Value

In accordance with section 773(e)(1) of the Act, we calculated CV based on the sum of Ugine's cost of materials, fabrication, G&A (including interest expenses), U.S. packing costs, direct and indirect selling expenses, and profit. In accordance with section 773(e)(2)(A) of the Act, we based SG&A and profit on the amounts incurred and realized by Ugine in connection with the production and sale of the foreign like product in the ordinary course of trade, for consumption in the foreign country. For selling expenses, we used the actual weighted-average home market direct and indirect selling expenses.

Level of Trade

In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B) of the Act, to the extent practicable, we determine NV based on sales in the comparison market at the same level of trade (LOT) as the EP or CEP transaction. The NV LOT is that of the starting-price sales in the comparison market, or when NV is based on constructed value (CV), that of the sales from which we derive selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses and profit. For EP, the U.S. LOT is also the level of the starting-price sale, which is usually from exporter to importer. For CEP, it is the level of the constructed sale from the exporter to the importer.

To determine whether NV sales are at a different LOT than EP or CEP, we examine stages in the marketing process and selling functions along the chain of distribution between the producer and the unaffiliated customer. If the comparison market sales are at a different LOT, and the difference affects price comparability as manifested in a pattern of consistent price differences between the sales on which NV is based and comparison market sales at the LOT of the export transaction, we make an LOT adjustment under section 773(a)(7)(A) of the Act. Finally, for CEP sales, if the NV level is more remote from the factory than the CEP level and there is no basis for determining whether the difference in levels between NV and CEP affects price comparability, we adjust NV under section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act (the CEP offset provision). See, e.g., Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from South Africa, 62 FR 61731, 61732 (November 19, 1997).

In reviewing the selling functions reported by the respondents, we examined all types of selling functions and activities reported in respondent's questionnaire response on LOT and during verification. In analyzing whether separate LOTs existed in this review, we found that no single selling function was sufficient to warrant a separate LOT in the home market. See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 63 FR 65347 (November 25, 1998).

We determined that Ugine sold merchandise at two LOTs in the home market during the POR. One level of trade involved sales made through two channels: Sales by Ugine directly to unaffiliated service centers or end users (Channel 1) and sales made by Ugine with the assistance of Ugine France Service in its capacity as sales agent, to unaffiliated end users (Channel 2). Additionally, the second level of trade involved sales made through two channels: Sales from Ugine to its affiliate, IUP, with subsequent resales by IUP to unaffiliated end users and service centers (Channel 3) and sales from Ugine to its affiliate, IUP, and then, with the assistance of Ugine France Service in its capacity as sales agent, to unaffiliated end users (Channel 4). From our analysis of the marketing process for these sales, we have determined that there are significant distinctions in selling activities between Ugine's sales to its affiliate in Channels 3 and 4 and its sales through channel 1 or 2. See Memorandum from Robert A. Bolling to Edward Yang, dated July 31, 2001, on file in Import Administration's Central Records Unit, Room B-099, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th & Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC. Based on these differences, we concluded that two LOTs existed in the home market.

In order to determine the LOTs of the U.S. market, we reviewed the selling activities associated with each channel of distribution. Ugine only reported CEP sales in the U.S. market. Because all of Ugine's CEP sales in the U.S. market were made through either Uginox or Rahns, where Ugine has characterized both as super-distributors that perform the same selling functions, there was only one level of trade. For these CEP sales, we determined that fewer and different selling functions were performed for CEP sales to Uginox and Rahns than for sales at either of the home market LOTs. In addition, we found that sales at both home market LOTs were at a more advanced stage of distribution (to end-users) compared to the CEP sales.

We examined whether a LOT adjustment was appropriate. The Department makes this adjustment when it is demonstrated that a difference in LOTs affects price comparability. However, where the available data do not provide an appropriate basis upon which to determine a LOT adjustment, and where the NV is established at a LOT that is at a more advanced stage of distribution than the LOT of the CEP transactions, we adjust NV under section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act (the CEP offset provision). We were unable to quantify the LOT adjustment in accordance with section 773(a)(7)(A) of the Act, as we found that neither of the LOTs in the home market matched the LOT of the CEP transactions. Because of this, we did not calculate a LOT adjustment. Instead, a CEP offset was applied to the NV-CEP comparisons. See Memorandum from Robert A. Bolling to Edward Yang, dated July 30, 2001, on file in Import Administration's Central Records Unit, Room B-099, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th & Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC.

Currency Conversion

For purposes of the preliminary results, we made currency conversions in accordance with section 773A of the Act, based on the official exchange rates in effect on the dates of the U.S. sales as certified by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Section 773A(a) of the Act directs the Department to use the daily exchange rate in effect on the date of sale in order to convert foreign currencies into U.S. dollars, unless the daily rate involves a “fluctuation.” In accordance with the Department's practice, we have determined as a general matter that a fluctuation exists when the daily exchange rate differs from a benchmark by 2.25 percent. See, e.g., Certain Stainless Steel Wire Rods from France; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 61 FR 8915, 8918 (March 6, 1998), and Policy Bulletin 96-1: Currency Conversions, 61 FR 9434 (March 8, 1996). The benchmark is defined as the rolling average of rates for the past 40 business days. When we determine a fluctuation exists, we substitute the benchmark for the daily rate.

Preliminary Results of Review

As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that the Start Printed Page 41543following weighted-average dumping margin exists:

Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils

Producer/manufacturer/exporterWeighted-average margin (percent)
Ugine3.43

Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.224, the Department will disclose to any party to the proceeding, within ten days of publication of this notice, the calculations performed. Any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication. Any hearing, if requested, will be held 37 days after the date of publication, or the first working day thereafter. Interested parties may submit case briefs and/or written comments no later than 30 days after the date of publication. Rebuttal briefs and rebuttals to written comments, limited to issues raised in such briefs or comments, may be filed no later than 35 days after the date of publication. The Department will publish the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of its analysis of issues raised in any such written comments or at a hearing, within 120 days after the publication of this notice.

Upon issuance of the final results of review, the Department shall determine, and Customs shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. The Department will issue appraisement instructions directly to Customs. The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the results and for future deposits of estimated duties. For duty assessment purposes, we calculated an importer-specific assessment rate by dividing the total dumping margins calculated for the U.S. sales to the importer by the total entered value of these sales. This rate will be used for the assessment of antidumping duties on all entries of the subject merchandise by that importer during the POR.

Furthermore, the following deposit requirements will be effective upon completion of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication of the final results of this administrative review, as provided in section 751(a)(1) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Ugine, the only reviewed company, will be that established in the final results of this review; (2) For previously reviewed or investigated companies not covered in this review, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) If the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original LTFV investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established in the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) If neither the exporter nor the manufacturer is a firm covered in this or any previous review conducted by the Department, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the “all other” rate established in the LTFV investigation, which was 9.38 percent. See Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order; Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip in Coils from France, 64 FR 40562 (July 27, 1999).

This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under regulation 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

This administrative review and notice is published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

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Dated: July 31, 2001.

Faryar Shirzad,

Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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Footnotes

1.  Due to changes to the HTS numbers in 2001, 7219.13.0030, 7219.13.0050, 7219.13.0070, and 7219.13.0080 are now 7219.13.0031, 7219.13.0051, 7219.13.0071, and 7219.13.0081, respectively.

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2.  “Arnokrome III” is a trademark of the Arnold Engineering Company.

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3.  “Gilphy 36” is a trademark of Imphy, S.A.

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4.  “Durphynox 17” is a trademark of Imphy, S.A.

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5.  This list of uses is illustrative and provided for descriptive purposes only.

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6.  “GIN4 Mo,” “GIN5” and “GIN6” are the proprietary grades of Hitachi Metals America, Ltd.

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[FR Doc. 01-19784 Filed 8-7-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P