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Chinese lead-acid battery makers seek reconsideration of tax

Keywords: Tags  China lead-acid batteries, lead-acid battery makers, Zhou Zhaoxue, Chilwee

SHANGHAI — Chinese lead-acid battery makers are calling on the central government to delay or reconsider a new tax on battery consumption that is likely to hit the local industry.

“We hope the government will hold off (on) the tax until battery makers are on track for healthy development,” Zhou Zhaoxue, director of major battery maker Chilwee Chuangyuan Industrial Co. Ltd., said over the weekend at the 2013 (8th) Shanghai Lead and Zinc Summit, hosted by Shanghai Metals Market.

China is mulling a 5-percent tax on lead-acid battery consumption as a measure to help protect the environment.

“If the government imposes the tax, it will force battery makers to further compress their costs. Producers have been selling batteries at cost ... or even below cost since October last year,” Zhou said.

The state taxation administration and the ministry of finance have finished soliciting suggestions and opinions for the plan, but there is no timetable for the tax to kick off.

Battery makers worry that the tax will cripple their export competitiveness.

“It will raise serious problems for exporters. In other Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Vietnam, there is no such tax. Such a tax will only shut the door for China’s battery exports,” another major battery maker said.

Lead-acid battery output accounts for about 70 percent of China’s lead consumption.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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