To minimize losses from dumping charges, Chinese footwear exporters have been warned to be cautious about accepting orders from the European Union (EU) next year.
"We cannot rule out the possibility that the EU will initiate anti-dumping tariffs against Chinese leather shoes ahead of schedule," the China Leather Association said in a statement on its website. The dumping ruling will be made before April.
The association said it is likely to result in a rapid growth in China's footwear exports and "might bring forward the charges" as some EU importers are trying to fulfill their orders as soon as possible to beat the ruling.
People close to the situation said all 13 Chinese leather shoemakers investigated by the European Union in this case failed to win "market economy treatment." The EU decision on market economy treatment is expected to be published at the end of this month or in January.
In another development, Yu Guangzhou, China's deputy commerce minister, predicted that the country's trade surplus is expected to surpass US$100 billion this year, higher than the earlier predicted volume.
Yu said a large proportion of that will come from the United States and the European Union: China is expected to witness a US$100 billion trade surplus with the United States this year and US$63 billion surplus with the European Union.
"At the same time, China's main trade deficit comes from Japan, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations," he said.
Processing trade contributed US$125 billion to the trade surplus from January to November, much higher than the US$30 billion from general trade.
Experts said because of the current rule of origin rule, a large volume of trade is measured in China's account, although Chinese manufacturers only earn a thin profit from processing.
(China Daily December 20, 2005)