The move by the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority to impose an additional duty of 35.77 per cent on cheap aluminum products from China will enable Aluworks to compete favorably in terms of the pricing of its products, the Chairman of Aluworks PLC Prof. Lade Wosornu has said
Speaking here at the 34th annual general meeting of Aluworks PLC held virtually, Prof Wosornu said the Ghana International Trade Commission(GITC) wrote to the company to confirm that the customs division had commenced the processes for the implementation of the ruling on Aluworks’ petition.
Aluworks last year petitioned GITC to put measures in place to deal with the dumping of cheap aluminium products from China which was negatively affecting the survival of local industries.
GITC ruled that such imports were injurious to Ghana industry and imposed an additional penalty duty of 35.77 per cent cost and freight.
Prof Wosornu urged the company’s major shareholders SSNIT and Caitlyn Limited to conclude their collaborative investment discussion to enable the company to obtain working capital to meet steadily growing demand and that anticipated under the Africa Free Trade Initiative.
He said the economic downturn resulting from the Corona virus pandemic, border closure and the rising world market price of aluminium negatively affected their business last year.
” In 2020 we purchased 3,776 tonnes from Volta Aluminium Company(against a budget of 5,600 tonnes)and produced for the market 3,672 tonnes compared to 2019 where we purchased 4,302 tonnes and sold 4,318 tonnes,” he said.
Prof Wosornu said cheap aluminium imports from China affected their operations to the extent that in 2020 they sold only 3,665 tonnes(GH¢68.975 million)a 12 per cent drop compared to 2019 where they recorded sales of 4,168 tonnes (GH¢76.993 million).
He noted that unfortunately, financial costs comprising of interest on the outstanding SSNIT loan for their second cold mill and exchange losses arising from purchasing aluminium from VALCO in foreign currency remained high making the company end 2020 with a net loss after tax of GH¢33.794 million compared to GH¢24.199 million in 2019.
“The phenomenon pushed income surplus account into a deficit making it impossible for the directors to recommend any dividend,” he said.
Prof Wosornu said the Board and management were committed to repositioning Aluworks PLC as a resilient trustworthy leader of industry and supplier of choice offering tailor made products to discerning customers.
The Managing Director of Aluworks Mr Ernest K. Okoh, said they were pleased that the Customs Division was implementing the ruling of GITC to ensure the sustainability of local industry.
He, however, noted that they would “monitor the process keenly to see how the implementation works out”.
FROM GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH, TEMA.