Florida citrus industry fights Brazil over dumping issues

09/11/2009 10:17:28 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

Florida Citrus Mutual continues to fight Brazil over claims that the country dumps orange juice in the U.S.

On Sept. 9, the Lakeland-based grower’s group said it plans to continue to evaluate import data and consider petitioning the U.S. Department of Commerce to start a full anti-dumping investigation against a Brazilian orange juice processor, according to a news release.
 
“Florida Citrus Mutual is committed to ensuring that Brazilian juice processors play by the rules and will closely scrutinize public trade records to strengthen our body of evidence against this particular exporter,” Michael Sparks, citrus mutual’s executive vice president and chief executive officer, said in the release.

“We have a strong case and despite the recent minor setback, we aren’t going to just let it go. Florida growers are clearly being injured by these actions.”
 
In April, citrus mutual filed a petition claiming Sao Paulo-based Citrovita sold orange juice in the U.S. at well below its cost of production, a violation of trade law, citrus mutual said in the release.

In the filing, citrus mutual requested the commerce department investigate Citrovita and add the company to an anti-dumping order that subjects four Brazilian exporters to federal pricing scrutiny.

To offset the low prices, the exporters are required to pay a deposit that can only be refunded if they don’t dump product.
 
According to the Florida citrus group, the current antidumping order is estimated to have increased Florida’s on-tree value of oranges 4-6% or by $85-$125 million, during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.
 
Saying the scope of the investigation cannot be modified under a changed circumstance review, the commerce department last month did not add Citrovita to the current antidumping order.

Citrus mutual, however, said the agency did not say that Citrovita was not dumping.
 
Citrus mutual said the agency ruled only on a legal technicality and didn’t address the pricing issue.



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