What is Sodium Cyanide?

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What is  Sodium Cyanide? Blog Image


Recently, India has initiated an anti-dumping probe into imports of poisonous chemical sodium cyanide from China, the European Union, Japan and Korea following a complaint by domestic companies.

Why in news?

  • An application has been filed by Hindusthan Chemical Company and United Phosphorous Ltd for the probe and the imposition of appropriate anti-dumping duty on imports from these nations.
  • The Union commerce ministry’s investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) is probing the alleged dumping of the cyanide originating in or exported from China, the European Union, Japan and Korea.

Key facts about Sodium cyanide

  • Sodium cyanide appears as a white crystalline solid, lump solid or powder.
  • It contains equal numbers of sodium cations and cyanide anions.
  • It is used as an insecticide, a test reagent for the function of chemoreceptors, and in many industrial processes. 
  • It is also used for the extraction of gold and silver from their respective ores, dyes, pigments, and bulk drugs.

What Is an Anti-Dumping Duty?

  • An anti-dumping duty is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value.
  • Dumping is a process wherein a company exports a product at a price that is significantly lower than the price it normally charges in its home (or its domestic) market.
  • It is recommended by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) and the Ministry of Finance within three months of its recommendation imposes/levies such duty.

What is the countervailing duty?

  • Countervailing duties or CVDs are tariffs on imported goods that are imposed to offset subsidies given by the exporting country's government.
  • It is a special measure used to neutralize the negative effects that subsidies for the production of a good in one country have on that same industry in another country, in which the production of that good is not subsidized.
  • While the Department of Commerce recommends the CVD, the Department of Revenue in the finance ministry acts upon the recommendation within three months and imposes such duties.

What is the difference between countervailing duty (CVD) v/s Anti-dumping duty (AD)?

  • AD is imposed to prevent low-priced foreign goods from damaging the local market. On the other hand, CVD will apply to foreign products that have enjoyed government subsidies, which eventually leads to very low prices.
  • While the AD duty amount depends on the margin of dumping, the CVD amount will completely depend upon the subsidy value of the foreign goods.


Q1) What is Cyanide?

Cyanide is a rapidly acting, potentially deadly chemical that interferes with the body’s ability to use oxygen. It can be a colorless gas or liquid, such as hydrogen cyanide (HCN) or cyanogen chloride (CNCl).

Source: India initiates anti-dumping probe into import of sodium cyanide from China, EU, Japan, Korea