FCM Strengthens Dumping Petition Against Citrovita

Florida’s largest citrus trade organization has asserted that a major Brazilian orange juice processor continued to dump product into the United States market even after the Department of Commerce was notified of the activity.

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“The fact Citrovita is still dumping orange juice is an affront to the Florida citrus grower,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “The company’s actions are a perfect example of why effective antidumping enforcement is so important to domestic producers.”

Based on recent monthly trade data, Florida Citrus Mutual Tuesday filed a supplementary document with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) that shows Sao Paulo-based Citrovita dumped orange juice into the domestic market as late as May 2009, the most recent month for which import information is available.

In April, Mutual filed the original petition claiming Citrovita sold orange juice in the United States at well below its cost of production, a violation of trade law that is prohibited under an existing antidumping order against Brazilian processors. In the filing, Mutual asks the DOC to investigate Citrovita through a “changed circumstances” petition that would add the company to the current order. The DOC is still reviewing the request.

“A comparison of official import statistics to manifest data provides clear evidence that Citrovita has been dumping orange juice in the United States,” Sparks said. “We believe that Citrovita has been selling large volumes of FCOJ at prices well below its Brazilian competitors and significantly below fair market value. They need to start following the rules and we are hopeful that the DOC will make that happen.”

The action against Citrovita is in addition to a current antidumping order on orange juice that was issued in March 2006 which subjected four Brazilian exporters – Citrosuco, Cutrale, a Louis Dreyfus affiliate and Montecitrus – to pricing scrutiny by the DOC. To offset the unfair prices, the exporters are required to pay a deposit upon entry that can only be refunded if they demonstrate they have not dumped product.

The antidumping order is estimated to have increased the on-tree value of Florida orange crops by 4 to 6 percent, or $85 to $125 million, over the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.

The Florida citrus industry creates a $9 billion annual economic impact, employing nearly 76,000 people, and covering more than 576,000 acres. Founded in 1948 and currently representing nearly 8,000 grower members, Florida Citrus Mutual is the state’s largest citrus grower organization. For more information, visit www.flcitrusmutual.com.
 

Source: Florida Citrus Mutual Press Release