The U.S. International Trade Commission voted Nov. 3 to continue an investigation of of alleged lemon juice dumping by Mexico and Argentina, ruling preliminarily that U.S. lemon juice producers have been materially injured by imports from the two countries.

According to a news release from Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif., the decision was made in response to a petition filed by the company in September requesting that antidumping duties be levied to offset unfair practices offered by Argentine and Mexican processors into the U.S. market during the past three years.

The ITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue the investigation, with a preliminary determination of dumping scheduled for Feb. 28, 2007. An affirmation that dumping has occurred could result in antidumping tariffs on imports from Argentina and Mexico, which Sunkist said would strengthen the bulk price for juice in the United States and most likely not be felt by consumers given  the limited volume of lemon juice used to make beverages.