The Taiwanese International Trade commission has hit back at US memory manufacturers, claiming that the dumping of chips has caused losses for many local companies.
Less than a week after the US Commerce Department imposed duties of up to 31 per cent on Taiwanese DRam manufacturers following complaints of dumping, a Taiwanese trade investigation committee has issued a preliminary finding that several US DRam companies had hurt local Taiwan business through the cut-price sales of DRam chips.
The investigation committee decided unanimously that Micron Technology and the US units of Samsung and Hyundai were damaging Taiwan's DRam industry. Several Taiwanese companies had called for duties of 66.8 per cent to be imposed on companies such as Micron, which they believed were flooding the Taiwanese market with cheap memory chips. Micron was the company that originally brought the dumping complaint in the US, leading to the imposition of tariffs on Taiwanese firms.
Despite the timing of the ruling, trade officials insisted that it was not a tit-for-tat move and that the two cases are unrelated. Micron has denied the allegations and will continue with its anti-dumping lawsuit in Washington.
The case will now be passed on to Taiwan's Ministry of Finance, but a final ruling is not expected until at least November.
Meanwhile, global prices of DRam chips continue to plummet, as a combination of seasonal slump and dumping practices take their toll. The price of a 64Mbit DRam chip in April fell to $6.32 - more than $5 less than for the corresponding period last year and worse than the 1998 year-low of $7.84. It is believed that most manu-facturers are selling product at less than the cost of manufacture.
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