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Due to evidence of underpricing, the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service (IRS) decided to inspect all import of plastic buttons; a measure motivated by a warning made by the Latin American Composite Materials Association (ALMACO), which represents the production chain of the buttons.
“In the event of new suspicion of underpricing or any doubt in relation to the goods imported, the Brazilian IRS will enforce the temporary or permanent retention of the shipment and apply fines, among other actions”, says Paulo Camatta, executive manager of ALMACO.
Buttons imported from China have arrived in Brazil with an average price of USD $2 per kilogram. To have an idea of what this means, identical products manufactured in the USA and Portugal cost USD $15 per kilogram. “This massive gap confirms the existence of an unfair competition, an activity that has been greatly affecting the Brazilian sector of buttons and, consequently, the entire industry of composites”.
The rise in imports of Chinese buttons caused in 2011 a 20% drop in the occupancy rate of Brazilian manufacturers, reducing it to 54.7%, the lowest in history. “The total volume of imports increased from 118,124 kg in 2007 to 1,052,679 kg in 2011, corresponding to a 900% increase”. Thus, according to Camatta, half of the Brazilian demand of 2011 was supplied by China, which accounted for 82% of the total volume of imported buttons in the period.
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