Published On: 6 September 2021

The Woodstock Consortium welcomes the release of the European Commission’s conclusions in support of the imposition of up to 15.8% definitive anti-dumping duties on imports to the EU from Russia of birch plywood for the next five years.

Importantly, the Commission clearly confirmed all its earlier findings on the basis of which provisional anti-dumping measures were already imposed in June 2021. Indeed, these conclusive findings bear out the fact that, in a context of stable Union consumption, an unwarranted increase in imports (+14% year-over-year) from Russia sold in the EU at unfair prices caused material injury to the EU industry.

The release of the final findings is another key milestone following the Commission’s long and thorough investigation, originally prompted by a complaint from the Woodstock Consortium. This detailed document will now form the basis for the Commission’s final proposal shortly to be made to EU Member States to impose anti-dumping measures against imports of birch plywood from Russia for the next five years from December onwards.

Earlier in the year, in advisory voting, EU Member States already for the most part supported the Commission in its preliminary findings. Now that the General Disclosure Document has been released, the Woodstock Consortium is hopeful that the Member States will support the conclusions of the Commission and vote for the imposition of the definitive measures. Indeed, the final findings of the Commission provide irrefutable evidence that Russian plywood producers dumped products on the EU market in massive quantities at prices below the domestic normal value, thereby financially and economically damaging the EU’s producers, whose profitability collapsed from a healthy situation (+9.7%) in 2017 to an unsustainable loss-making scenario (-2.8%) in the investigation period. Several EU producers went out of business because of the enormous price pressure of Russian imports, which, as Commission confirmed, were systematically undercutting EU producers.

This practice, in turn, enabled Russian exporting producers to unfairly capture a commanding market share of some 46% during the period investigated by the Commission, all at huge cost to the EU industry, which has seen a significant decline of its market share. As production and sales for EU producers fell along with their market share, the reduced ability to sell profitably left EU producers unable to invest to be able to continue to compete in the long run.

In the light of the overwhelming body of evidence collected over months of independent analysis and expert examination, the proposed measures are now indispensable to correct and restore the level playing field necessary to allow EU producers to compete normally with Russian exporters who, in turn, will inevitably remain active and important players on the EU market.

The EU’s own industry was until now at a demonstrable crossroads: the future of the EU birch plywood producing industry depends on fair and sustainable competition across Europe. We are confident that all Member States will now carefully examine the facts and evidence the Commission has found before agreeing that these modest duties are necessary to offer much-needed relief to all EU producers in the face of the proven injurious effects of sustained dumping in recent years.