Claire H. Smith

U.S. finds dumping of Lemon Juice from Argentina and Mexico

April 25, 2007

On April 20, 2007, the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA) announced its preliminary determination that Argentine and Mexican processors have dumped lemon juice in the United States market at margins ranging from 85.64 to 205.37 percent. This decision will require that importers of lemon juice from Argentina and Mexico post antidumping deposits or bonds equal to the margins published for the applicable exporter or processor, for any imports as of the date of publication in the Federal Register.

“We are very pleased that Commerce has confirmed our allegation of dumping by Argentine and Mexican processors.” said Tim Lindgren, Sunkist’s President and CEO. “This finding should help return some stability to the U.S. lemon juice market which has been flooded with unfairly traded lemon juice from these two countries.”

The petition was filed in September 2006 by Sunkist Growers Inc. In November, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) made a preliminary determination that imports of lemon juice from Argentina and Mexico were causing material injury to the U.S. industry. The Department will now audit the Argentine and Mexican documentation at the company facilities. Currently the ITA is to make its final determination by July 3 and the U.S. International Trade Commission is currently to complete a final investigation of material injury by August 17, although these deadlines may be extended.

The decision covers bulk lemon juice for further manufacture, with or without addition of preservatives, sugar, or other sweeteners, regardless of the grams per liter of citric acid (GPL) level of concentration, brix level, brix/acid ratio, pulp content, clarity, grade, horticulture method (e.g., organic or not), processed form (e.g., frozen or not from-concentrate), FDA standard of identity, the size of the container in which packed, or the method of packing. It excludes (1) lemon juice at any level of concentration packed in retail-sized containers ready for sale to consumers, typically at a level of concentration of 48 GPL; and (2) beverage products such as lemonade that typically contain 20 percent or less lemon juice as an ingredient.

The Commerce Department found the following dumping margin:

Citrusvil S.A. - 128.5 percent
S.A. San Miguel A.G.I.C. y F. - 85.64 percent
All Others - 113.52 percent

The Coca Cola Export Corporation, Mexico Branch - 146.10 percent
Citrotam International S.P.R. de R.L (Citrotam). /Productos Naturales de Citricos (Pronacit) - 205.37 percent
All Others - 146.10 percent

The ITA also determined that “critical circumstances” exist with respect to imports from Argentina and from Citrotam in Mexico. The ITA concluded that there were “massive imports” from these sources since the filing of the antidumping petition. If there is a final affirmative determination on this issue, any such entries would be liable for antidumping duties for a period of 90 days retroactive from the date of publication of the preliminary determination, probably next week.



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