Displaying items by tag: Tax
Check out this great graph that the UK Mineral Products Association (MPA) released in its latest sustainable development report this week. It lays out where the MPA says the various direct and indirect costs come from climate change policies per tonne of cement.
Graph 1: The cumulative burden of direct and indirect cost of climate change policies on the cement sector (per tonne of cement). GBP£1 = Euro0.94 at time of writing. Source: MPA.
If it’s correct then the two biggest contributors from carbon taxes on the price of cement in the UK arise from the Carbon Price Support (CPS) mechanism and the Renewable Obligation (RO). Between them the two policies account for around two-thirds of the carbon tax burden on the price of cement. Of note to an industry advocacy body like the MPA, both of these derive from local legislation and they could be changed or dispensed with separate to the Brexit negotiations to extricate the UK from the European Union that have just officially started.
The MPA then goes on to warn that these added costs could rise from GBP£3.24/t at present to GBP£4/t in 2020 and then the truly terrifying (to energy intensive manufacturers at least) GBP£17/t. Subsequently the MPA has flagged these potentially mounting costs as the biggest threat to the UK cement industry in the near future. Failure to act could mean more foreign imports, loss of jobs and damage to the security of supply. All very heavy stuff. The MPA’s warning was nicely timed to precede the UK government’s response to a consultation on another decarbonisation scheme, the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme. Here, the government is about to exempt high-energy users, including cement producers.
Essentially, the key message from the MPA’s report is that the cement sector is picking up but it is still below sales levels in 2007. At the same time it has made all these environmental improvements and, now, steadily tightening regulations threaten its future. Just compare this with the situation in the US where the Portland Cement Association (PCA) recently applauded President Donald Trump’s executive order to roll back environmental legislation from the Obama administration. Despite this it insisted that its members were committed to manufacturing products with a ‘minimal’ environmental footprint.
Funnily enough the MPA didn’t mention environmental issues when it released its updated Brexit priorities for the UK government. This is understandable given the graph above that suggests that the majority of the carbon costs on cement production come from UK legislation. However, sharing a land border with the EU south of Northern Ireland may give rise to all sorts of market skulduggery once any sort of post-Brexit deal becomes clear. And this doesn’t even take into account moving secondary cementitious materials about, like slag, or the UK’s international market in solid recovered fuels (SRF) and the like. Differences in UK and EU overall carbon costs on cement may start to have acute implications for producers in both jurisdictions as the negotiations build. In this atmosphere moves like Ireland’s Quinn Cement’s last month, to build a terminal on the UK side of the Irish border, make a lot of sense.
Pakistan: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has found that Zeal Pak Cement dodged paying US$19.7m to the authorities via tax evasion and money laundering schemes. As well as underpaying tax on imports of cement the cement producer also sent money to Iran, according to the National Herald Tribune newspaper. The FBR was alerted to the malpractice mid-way through importing a 86,500t consignment of Ordinary Portland Cement that was subsequently impounded. Zeal Pak Cement is also accused of fabricating false invoices and other documents.
Vietnam: Tran Viet Thang, General Director of the Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation (VICEM), has blamed local taxes for increasing the cost of exports from the country. He blamed a government decision to exempt exported cement products from input value-added tax and a 5% export tax, according to the Viet Nam News newspaper. He also said that increasing input material costs and fluctuating foreign exchange rates had caused problems for exporters. Nguyen Quang Cung, Chairman of Vietnam Cement Association, added that cement export volumes had fallen by 5.9% year-on-year in 2016.
Vietnam has set an annual export target of 20 – 35% of the country’s total cement and clinker capacity by the year of 2030. Vietnam’s cement output is expected to reach 120 – 130Mt/yr by 2020 but local consumption is only expected to reach 93Mt/yr, leaving a significant excess.
Senegal: The government of Senegal has introduced a tax of US$4.84/t of cement with effect from 2 January 2017. The tariff will apply to cement from the country’s three cement plants run by Ciments du Sahel, Sococim and Dangote, according to the Quotidien newspaper. Vendors are expected to pass the cost onto consumers with higher prices.
Cement production rose by 10% year-on-year to 5.15Mt in the first 10 months of 2016 from 4.68Mt in the same period in 2015 at the Ciments du Sahel and Sococim plants, according to data from the Directorate of Forecasting and Economic Studies (DPEE), reported upon by the African Press Agency. The increase has been attributed to a 25% surge in exports, although local sales have also risen slightly.
China: Sinoma Hanjiang Cement, a subsidiary of China National Materials Company (Sinoma), has been ordered to pay back a US$8.3m tax rebate by the Tax Office of Hantai District, Hanzhong City in Shaanxi. A notice issued by the office said that the cement producer failed to meet the requirements for the rebate, according to ET Net News agency. The office decided to disqualify Sinoma Hanjiang from the entitlement due to its policies regarding rebate and exemption of value-added tax for products and labour services involving comprehensive utilisation of resources. Sinoma said that the extra cost is expected to decrease its profit in 2016.
Saudi Arabia: New legislation requiring cement exporters to pay tariffs of up to US$35/t is expected to reduce profits. The new import tax is also expected to compound problems for exporters created by restrictions linked to the gradual lifting of a ban on exports, according to Mubasher financial website. Cement producers are expected to be encouraged to focus on domestic sales instead. Financial analyst Jasim Al-Joubran of Al-Jazirah Capital has forecast low profits for the industry in 2016 due to low government spending. However, he added that sales are expected to recover in the fourth quarter of 2016 followed by a recovery in 2018.
Pakistan: Tax bodies are expecting to see a jump in revenue in the 2016 – 2017 financial year from cement producers as Chinese-funded infrastructure starts to be built. The Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) in Karachi, the largest revenue-collecting arm, estimates that it will tax producers US$114m in the 2016 – 2017 financial year, according to the News International newspaper. A study by the LUT said that growth would arise from increases in sales tax and federal excise duty following the start of projects worth US$46bn from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Cement sales have risen by 8.3% year-on-year to 8.98Mt in the first quarter of the local financial year. This follows a 17% rise in domestic sales to 33Mt in the 2015 – 2016 financial year.
Nigeria: A Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned legal action by Dangote Cement against Ibeto Cement until 1 November 2016 pending a decision of the Court of Appeal. Dangote Cement is alleging that Ibeto Cement evaded paying taxes on imports of cement to give itself a ‘unfair’ advantage in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the National Mirror Newspaper. It is also seeking an injunction against the Ibeto Cement and other defendants in the case from importing cement into the country unless approved by the appropriate authority under the current tax rules.
However, the Federal Government is alleging that Dangote Cement is attempting to minimise its competition. Other defendants in the case also include: IBG Investments Limited, Derima Venture Limited, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, the Board of Customs and Excise, the Federal Inland Revenue Services and the Nigerian Port Authority.
Vietnam: The Vietnam National Cement Association (VNCA) has proposed that the Ministries of Planning and Investment, Finance, and Construction reduce import duties on aluminium cement to improve the competiveness of local refractory producers. At present the country charges a tax of 32 – 37% on imports of the input material used to manufacture refractory concrete and refractory bricks. However, imports of refractory bricks are only charged 6%, according to the Viet Nam News newspaper.
The VNCA suggested the government cut duties on aluminium cement imports to support local firms and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign partners, such as China. Vietnam imports refractory concrete and refractory bricks from China, India, South Korea and Germany.
Nigeria: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raided the Lagos office of the Bank of Industry (BOI) following an investigation. Officials of the development bank say that the raid was part of the investigation by the EFCC of the allegation of misapplied funds belonging to the Cement Technology Institute of Nigeria (CTIN), according to All Africa.
In a statement the BOI said that concerns regarding the new terms on how to manage a fund accrued from tariffs on imported cement between 2011 and 2015 had been addressed. The bank was appointed by the federal government to use the money to develop the country’s cement industry. However, following the creation of Cement Technology Institute of Nigeria (CTIN) the BOI was asked in 2013 to transfer the fund to CITN. This did not happen. On 17 June 2016 the fund had grown to US$47m in the BOI’s accounts.