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Notice

Preliminary Results and Rescission in Part of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Gray Portland Cement and Clinker From Mexico

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of preliminary results and rescission in part of antidumping duty administrative review.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

September 10, 2002.

SUMMARY:

In response to requests from interested parties, the Department of Commerce is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on gray portland cement and clinker from Mexico. The review covers exports of subject merchandise to the United States during the period August 1, 2000, through July 31, 2001, and one firm, CEMEX, S.A. de C.V., and its affiliate, GCC Cemento, S.A. de C.V. We have preliminarily determined that sales were made below normal value during the period of review. With respect to Apasco, S.A. de C.V., we are rescinding the antidumping duty administrative review of this company.

We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results. Parties who submit arguments in this proceeding are requested to submit with the argument (1) a statement of the issues, and (2) a brief summary of the argument.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Hermes Pinilla or Brian Ellman, Office of AD/CVD Enforcement 3, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-3477, (202) 482-4852, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:Start Printed Page 57380

Applicable Statute and Regulations

Unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the statute are references to the provisions effective January 1, 1995, the effective date of the amendments made to the Tariff Act of 1930 (the Act) by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. In addition, unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the Department of Commerce's (the Department's) regulations are to 19 CFR part 351 (April 2001).

Background

On August 1, 2001, the Department published in the Federal Register the Notice of Opportunity to Request Administrative Review concerning the antidumping duty order on gray portland cement and clinker from Mexico (66 FR 39729). In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213, the petitioner, the Southern Tier Cement Committee (STCC), requested a review of CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (CEMEX), CEMEX's affiliate, GCC Cemento, S.A. de C.V. (GCCC), and Apasco, S.A. de C.V. (Apasco). In addition, CEMEX and GCCC requested reviews of their own sales during the period of review. On October 1, 2001, we published the Notice of Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews (66 FR 49924) initiating this review. The period of review is August 1, 2000, through July 31, 2001. Our review of Customs Service import data indicated that there were no entries of subject merchandise made by Apasco during the period of review. See Memorandum from Analyst to the File, dated August 6, 2002. Therefore, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(3), we are rescinding the review with respect to this manufacturer/exporter. We are now conducting a review of CEMEX and GCCC pursuant to section 751 of the Act.

Scope of Review

The products covered by this review include gray portland cement and clinker. Gray portland cement is a hydraulic cement and the primary component of concrete. Clinker, an intermediate material product produced when manufacturing cement, has no use other than of being ground into finished cement. Gray portland cement is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) item number 2523.29 and cement clinker is currently classifiable under HTS item number 2523.10. Gray portland cement has also been entered under HTS item number 2523.90 as “other hydraulic cements.” The HTS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. Our written description of the scope of the proceeding is dispositive.

Verification

As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, we verified sales information provided by CEMEX using standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant sales and financial records, and selection of original documentation containing relevant information. Our verification results are outlined in public versions of the verification reports.

Collapsing

Section 771(33) of the Act defines when two or more parties will be considered affiliated for purposes of an antidumping analysis. Moreover, 19 CFR 351.401(f) describes when the Department will treat two or more affiliated producers as a single entity (i.e., “collapse” the firms) for purposes of calculating a dumping margin. In six previous administrative reviews of this order, we analyzed and determined to collapse CEMEX and GCCC in accordance with our regulations. See, e.g., Gray Portland Cement and Clinker from Mexico; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 67 FR 12518 (March 19, 2002).

The regulations state that we will treat two or more affiliated producers as a single entity where those producers have production facilities for similar or identical products that would not require substantial retooling of either facility in order to restructure manufacturing priorities and we conclude that there is a significant potential for the manipulation of price or production. In identifying a significant potential for the manipulation of price or production, the factors we may consider include the following: (i) The level of common ownership; (ii) the extent to which managerial employees or board members of one firm sit on the board of directors of an affiliated firm; and (iii) whether operations are intertwined, such as through the sharing of sales information, involvement in production and pricing decisions, the sharing of facilities or employees, or significant transactions between the affiliated producers. See 19 CFR 351.401(f).

Having reviewed the current record, we find that the factual information underlying our decision to collapse these two entities has not changed from previous administrative reviews. CEMEX's indirect ownership of GCCC exceeds five percent; therefore, these two companies are affiliated pursuant to section 771(33)(E) of the Act. In addition, both CEMEX and GCCC satisfy the criteria for treatment of affiliated parties as a single entity described at 19 CFR 351.401(f)(1): both producers have production facilities for similar and identical products such that substantial retooling of their production facilities would not be necessary to restructure manufacturing priorities. Consequently, any minor retooling required could be accomplished swiftly and with relative ease.

We also find that there exists a significant potential for manipulation of prices and production as outlined under 19 CFR 351.401(f)(2). CEMEX indirectly owns a substantial percentage of GCCC. Also, CEMEX's managers or directors sit on the board of directors of GCCC and its affiliated companies. Accordingly, the percentage of ownership and interlocking boards of directors give rise to a significant potential for affecting GCCC's pricing and production decisions. See the Department's memorandum from Analyst to File, Collapsing CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. and GCC Cemento, S.A. de C.V. for the Current Administrative Review, dated July 31, 2002.[1] Therefore, we have collapsed CEMEX and GCCC into one entity and calculated a single weighted-average margin using information provided by CEMEX and GCCC in this review.

Constructed Export Price

Both CEMEX and GCCC reported constructed export price (CEP) sales. We calculated CEP based on delivered prices to unaffiliated customers in accordance with section 772(b) of the Act. Where appropriate, we made adjustments to the starting price for discounts and billing adjustments. In accordance with section 772(d) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.402(b), we deducted those selling expenses, including inventory carrying costs, that were associated with commercial activities in the United States and relate to the sale to an unaffiliated purchaser. We also made deductions for foreign brokerage and handling, foreign inland freight, U.S. inland freight and insurance, U.S. warehousing expenses, U.S. brokerage and handling, and U.S. duties, pursuant to section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act. Finally, we made an adjustment for CEP profit in accordance Start Printed Page 57381with section 772(d)(3) of the Act. No other adjustments to CEP were claimed or allowed.

With respect to subject merchandise to which value was added in the United States prior to sale to unaffiliated U.S. customers (i.e., cement that was imported and further-processed into finished concrete by U.S. affiliates of foreign exporters), we preliminarily determine that the special rule under section 772(e) of the Act for merchandise with value added after importation is applicable.

Section 772(e) of the Act provides that, where the subject merchandise is imported by a person affiliated with the exporter or producer and the value added in the United States by the affiliated person is likely to exceed substantially the value of the subject merchandise, we will determine the CEP for such merchandise using the price of identical or other subject merchandise if there is a sufficient quantity of sales to provide a reasonable basis for comparison and we determine that the use of such sales is appropriate. The regulations at 19 CFR 351.402(c)(2) provide that normally we will determine that the value added in the United States by the affiliated person is likely to exceed substantially the value of the subject merchandise if we estimate the value added to be at least 65 percent of the price charged to the first unaffiliated purchaser for the merchandise as sold in the United States. Normally we will estimate the value added based on the difference between the price charged to the first unaffiliated purchaser for the merchandise as sold in the United States and the price paid for the subject merchandise by the affiliated person. We will base this determination normally on averages of the prices and the value added to the subject merchandise. If there is not a sufficient quantity of such sales or if we determine that using the price of identical or other subject merchandise is not appropriate, we may use any other reasonable basis to determine the CEP. See section 772(e) of the Act.

During the course of this administrative review, the respondent submitted information which allowed us to determine whether, in accordance with section 772(e) of the Act, the value added in the United States by its U.S. affiliates is likely to exceed substantially the value of the subject merchandise. To determine whether the value added is likely to exceed substantially the value of the subject merchandise, we estimated the value added based on the difference between the averages of the prices charged to the first unaffiliated purchaser for the merchandise as sold in the United States and the averages of the prices paid for subject merchandise by the affiliate. Based on this analysis, we estimate that the value added was at least 65 percent of the price the respondent charged to the first unaffiliated purchaser for the merchandise as sold in the United States. Therefore, we preliminarily determine that the value added is likely to exceed substantially the value of the subject merchandise. Also, the record indicates that there is a sufficient quantity of subject merchandise to provide a reasonable and appropriate basis for comparison. Accordingly, for purposes of determining dumping margins for the further-manufactured sales, we will apply the preliminary weighted-average margin reflecting the rate calculated for sales of identical or other subject merchandise sold to unaffiliated purchasers.

Normal Value

A. Comparisons

In order to determine whether there was a sufficient volume of sales in the home market to serve as a viable basis for calculating normal value (NV), we compared the respondent's volume of home-market sales of the foreign like product to the volume of U.S. sales of the subject merchandise in accordance with section 773(a)(1)(C) of the Act. Since the respondent'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. Therefore, we have based NV on home-market sales.

During the period of review, the respondent sold Type II LA and Type V LA cement in the United States. The statute expresses a preference for matching U.S. sales to identical merchandise in the home market. The respondent sold cement produced as Type III, CPC 30 R, CPC 40, and CPO 40 cement in the home market. We have attempted to match the subject merchandise to identical merchandise in the home market. In situations where identical product types cannot be matched, we have attempted to match the subject merchandise to sales of similar merchandise in the home market. See sections 773(a)(1)(B) and 771(16) of the Act.

We were able to find identical and similar models to which we could match sales of Type II LA and Type V LA cement sold in the U.S. market. In the 1999/2000 administrative review of this proceeding, we determined that CPO 40 cement produced and sold in the home market is the identical match to Type V LA cement sold in the United States. See Gray Portland Cement and Clinker From Mexico; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 67 FR 12518 (March 19, 2002), and the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at comment 7. We have reviewed the information on the record and have determined that CPO 40 cement produced and sold in the home market is the identical match to Type V LA cement sold in the United States during this review period.

If we could not find an identical match to the cement types sold in the United States in the same month in which the U.S. sale was made or during the contemporaneous period, we based NV on similar merchandise. During the review period, GCCC had sales of Type II LA in the United States but did not have any sales of this type in the home market. Based on information on the record, we find that the chemical and physical characteristics of type CPO 40 cement produced and sold in Mexico are most similar to Type II LA cement sold in the United States. See, e.g., GCCC's response to the supplemental questionnaire dated June 28, 2002, at pages 30-31 and at Exhibit A56. Therefore, for this review period, we matched sales of CPO 40 cement produced and sold in Mexico to all sales of Type II LA sold in the United States.

Furthermore, in accordance with section 771(16)(B) of the Act, we find that both bulk and bagged cement are produced in the same country and by the same producer as the types sold in the United States, both bulk and bagged cement are like the types sold in the United States in component materials and in the purposes for which used, and both bulk and bagged cement are approximately equal in commercial value to the types sold in the United States. The questionnaire responses submitted by the respondent indicate that, with the exception of packaging, cement sold in bulk and cement sold in bags are physically identical and both are used in the production of concrete. Also, since there is no difference in the cost of production between cement sold in bulk or in bagged form (again with the exception of packaging), both are approximately equal in commercial value. See CEMEX's and GCCC's responses to the Department's original and supplemental questionnaires.

B. Ordinary Course of Trade

Section 773(a)(1)(B) of the Act requires the Department to base NV on “the price at which the foreign like product is first sold (or in the absence Start Printed Page 57382of a sale, offered for sale) for consumption in the exporting country, in the usual commercial quantities and in the ordinary course of trade.” Ordinary course of trade is defined as “the conditions and practices which, for a reasonable time prior to the exportation of the subject merchandise, have been normal in the trade under consideration with respect to merchandise of the same class or kind.” See section 771(15) of the Act.

In this review, we analyzed home-market sales of cement produced as Type III cement. Pursuant to section 773(a)(1)(B) of the Act, we based our examination on the totality of circumstances surrounding the respondent's sales in Mexico that are produced as Type III cement and, as in previous reviews of this order, we continue to find that the respondent's home-market sales of Type III cement are outside the ordinary course of trade. See Preliminary Results Analysis Memo of CEMEX S.A. de C.V. and its affiliate GCC Cemento, S.A. de C.V., for the Eleventh Administrative Review of Gray Portland Cement and Clinker from Mexico (August 30, 2002).

C. Arm's-Length Sales

To test whether sales to affiliated customers were made at arm's length, we compared the prices of sales to affiliated and unaffiliated customers, net of all movement charges, direct selling expenses, discounts, and packing. Where the price to the affiliated party was on average 99.5 percent or more of the price to the unaffiliated parties, we determined that the sales made to the affiliated party were at arm's length. Consistent with 19 CFR 351.403, we included these sales in our analysis.

D. Cost of Production

The petitioner alleged on January 9, 2002, that the respondent sold gray portland cement and clinker in the home market at prices below the cost of production (COP). After examining the allegation, we determined that there were reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that the respondent had sold the subject merchandise in the home market at prices below the COP. Therefore, pursuant to section 773(b)(1) of the Act, we initiated a COP investigation in order to determine whether the respondent made home-market sales during the period of review at below-cost prices. See the memorandum from case analysts to Laurie Parkhill entitled Gray Portland Cement and Clinker from Mexico: Request to Initiate Cost Investigation in the 2000/2001 Review (April 24, 2002).

In accordance with section 773(b)(3) of the Act, we calculated the COP based on the sum of the costs of materials and fabrication employed in producing the foreign like product, plus amounts for home-market selling, and general and administrative (SG&A) expenses. We used the home-market sales data and COP information provided by the respondent in its questionnaire response.

After calculating a weighted-average COP, in accordance with section 773(b)(3) of the Act, we tested whether the home-market sales of the respondent were made at prices below COP within an extended period of time in substantial quantities and whether such prices permitted recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time. We compared type-specific COPs to the reported home-market prices less any applicable direct selling expenses, movement charges, discounts and rebates, indirect selling expenses, and commissions.

Pursuant to section 773(b)(2)(C) of the Act, if less than 20 percent of the respondent's sales of a certain type were at prices less than the COP, we do not disregard any below-cost sales of that product because the below-cost sales were not made in substantial quantities within an extended period of time. If 20 percent or more of the respondent's sales of a certain type during the period of review were at prices less than the COP, such below-cost sales were made in substantial quantities within an extended period of time pursuant to sections 773(b)(2) (B) and (C) of the Act. Based on comparisons of home-market prices to weighted-average COPs for the period of review, we determined that below-cost sales of all types of cement were not made in substantial quantities within an extended period of time, and, therefore, we did not disregard any below-cost sales.

E. Adjustments to Normal Value

Where appropriate, we adjusted home-market prices for discounts, rebates, packing, handling, interest revenue, and billing adjustments to the invoice price. In addition, we adjusted the starting price for inland freight, inland insurance, and warehousing expenses. We also deducted home-market direct selling expenses from the home-market price and home-market indirect selling expenses as a CEP-offset adjustment (see Level of Trade/CEP Offset section below). In addition, in accordance with section 773(a)(6) of the Act, we deducted home-market packing costs and added U.S. packing costs.

Section 773(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the Act directs us to make an adjustment to NV to account for differences in the physical characteristics of merchandise where similar products are compared. The regulations at 19 CFR 351.411(b) direct us to consider differences in variable costs associated with the physical differences in the merchandise. Where we matched U.S. sales of subject merchandise to similar models in the home market, we adjusted for differences in merchandise.

F. Level of Trade/CEP Offset

In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B) of the Act, to the extent practicable, we determine NV based on sales in the home market at the same level of trade as the CEP. The NV level of trade is that of the starting-price sales in the home market or, when NV is based on constructed value (CV), that of sales from which we derive SG&A expenses and profit. For CEP, it is the level of the constructed sale from the exporter to an affiliated importer after the deductions required under section 772(d) of the Act.

To determine whether NV sales are at a different level of trade than 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 level of trade 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 level of trade of the export transaction, we make a level-of-trade 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 the 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 Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from South Africa, 62 FR 61731, 61732-33 (November 19, 1997).

With respect to U.S. sales, we conclude that CEMEX's and GCCC's sales constituted two separate levels of trade, one CEMEX U.S. level of trade and one GCCC U.S. level of trade. We based our conclusion on our analysis of each company's reported selling functions and sales channels after making deductions for selling expenses under section 772(d) of the Act. We found that CEMEX and GCCC performed different sales functions for sales to their respective U.S. affiliates. For Start Printed Page 57383instance, CEMEX reported that it performed technical advice, solicitation of orders/customer visits, account receivable management, post-sale warehousing, and communication activities whereas GCCC reported that it did not perform any of these activities.

Based on our analysis of the respondent's reported selling functions and sales channels, we conclude that the respondent's home-market sales to various classes of customers which purchase both bulk and bagged cement constitute one level of trade. We found that, with some minor exceptions, CEMEX and GCCC performed the same selling functions to varying degrees in similar channels of distribution. We also concluded that the variations in the intensities of selling functions performed were not substantial when all selling expenses were considered as a whole. See the memorandum entitled Gray Portland Cement and Clinker from Mexico: Level-of-Trade Analysis for the 00/01 Administrative Review, dated August 30, 2002 (Level-of-Trade Analysis memorandum).

Furthermore, the respondent's home-market sales occur at a different and more advanced stage of distribution than its sales to the United States. For example, the CEMEX U.S. level of trade does not include activities such as market research, after-sales service/warranties, advertising, and packing whereas the home-market level of trade includes these activities. Similarly, the GCCC U.S. level of trade does not include activities such as market research, technical advice, advertising, customer approval, solicitation of orders, computer/legal/accounting/business systems, sales promotion, sales forecasting, strategic and economic planning, personnel training/exchange, and procurement and sourcing services whereas the home-market level of trade includes these activities.

As a result of our level-of-trade analysis, we could not match U.S. sales at either of the two U.S. levels of trade to sales at the same level of trade in the home market because there are no home-market sales at the same level of trade. In addition, because we found only one home-market level of trade, we could not determine a level-of-trade adjustment based on the collapsed entity's home-market sales of merchandise under review. Therefore, we have determined that the data available do not provide an appropriate basis on which to calculate a level-of-trade adjustment. However, we determined that the level of trade of the home-market sales is more advanced than the levels of the U.S. sales. Thus, we made a CEP-offset adjustment in accordance with section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act for the respondent's CEP sales. In accordance with section 773(a)(7) of the Act, we calculated the CEP offset as the smaller of the following: (1) the indirect selling expenses on the home-market sale, or (2) the indirect selling expenses deducted from the starting price in calculating CEP. See the Level-of-Trade Analysis memorandum.

Currency Conversion

Pursuant to section 773A(a) of the Act, we made currency conversions into U.S. dollars based on the exchange rates in effect on the dates of U.S. sales as certified by the Federal Reserve Bank.

Preliminary Results of Review

As a result of our review, we preliminarily determine the dumping margin for the collapsed parties, CEMEX and GCCC, for the period August 1, 2000, through July 31, 2001, to be 74.78 percent.

We will disclose calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results to parties within five days of the date of publication of this notice. See 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice. A hearing, if requested, will be held at the main Commerce Department building three business days after submission of rebuttal briefs.

Issues raised in hearings will be limited to those raised in the respective case and rebuttal briefs. Case briefs from interested parties may be filed no later than 30 days after publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to the issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline for filing case briefs.

Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are requested to submit with each argument (1) a statement of the issue, and (2) a brief summary of the argument with an electronic version included.

Upon completion of this review, the Department will determine, and the Customs Service shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), we have calculated an exporter/importer (or customer)-specific assessment rate for merchandise subject to this review. The Department will issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to the Customs Service within 15 days of publication of the final results of review. If these preliminary results are adopted in the final results of review, we will direct the Customs Service to assess the resulting assessment rates against the entered customs values for the subject merchandise on each of the importer's/customer's entries during the review period.

Furthermore, the following deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of review, as provided by section 751(a)(1) of the Act: (1) The cash-deposit rate for the respondent will be the rate determined in the final results of review; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not mentioned above, 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 in the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash-deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash-deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will be 61.35 percent, the all-others rate from the LTFV investigation. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until publication of the final results of the next administrative review.

This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 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.

We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

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Dated: September 3, 2002.

Faryar Shirzad,

Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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Footnotes

1.  Our decision to collapse both companies and treat them as a single entity is consistent with our decisions in earlier segments of this proceeding. See, e.g., Preliminary Results and Rescission in Part of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Gray Portland Cement and Clinker From Mexico, 66 FR 47632, 47633 (September 13, 2001). No changes were made in the final results of review (see Gray Portland Cement and Clinker From Mexico; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Review, 67 FR 12518 (March 19, 2002)).

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[FR Doc. 02-22996 Filed 9-9-02; 8:45 am]

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