LAKELAND – The nation’s largest citrus grower organization has filed a summons with the U.S. Court of International Trade, initiating an appeal of the International Trade Commission (ITC) decision to revoke the anti-dumping order against Brazilian orange juice processors.
“We continue to believe that the ITC made the wrong decision in this case for a number of reasons,” Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a news release. “There’s been extreme volatility in the marketplace since the revocation of the order providing clear proof that the order was doing what it was supposed to do – make the Brazilian processors play by the rules.
“We will continue to consider our options to appeal and if necessary, we will file a new petition because we know the dumping isn’t going to stop.”
Some of the ITC’s findings that Mutual could challenge in an appeal include:
• Concluding there are significant supply constraints in Brazil.
• Concluding the United States is not an attractive market for Brazilian juice.
• Assuming that Brazil’s processing presence in the United States evens the trade playing field.
• Ignoring the carbendazim issue’s affect on demand. (Carbendazim is a widely used broad-spectrum benzimidazole fungicide that plays a very important role in plant disease control.)
• Relying almost exclusively on unsupported Brazilian pricing data.
• Concluding that Brazilian imports do not affect on U.S. prices.
• Focusing on grower revenue without considering increased costs.
• Failing to properly consider the effects of revocation on growers.
Since the trade commission revoked the anti-dumping order on March 14, many of its assumptions have been severely undermined, according to Florida Citrus Mutual officials. Orange juice futures prices have declined by 40 percent, the effects of carbendazim have significantly reduced consumer demand and Brazilian shippers expect to have carbendazim-free concentrate back on the market in less than six months.
In addition, Brazilian production outstripped the commission’s estimate by 7 percent for both the current season and next year. A week after the vote, the Brazilian industry reported anticipated inventories 40 percent higher than predicted by the commission.
An anti-dumping order covering the major Brazilian orange juice processors was put into place in 2006. Dumping is defined as selling product for less than “normal value,” including prices below the cost of production. According to Florida Citrus Mutual, dumping can severely harm domestic producers by subsidizing cheaper U.S. sales with higher-priced foreign sales, destabilizing world markets. If a domestic industry can prove foreign producers are dumping, then anti-dumping deposits can be imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The DOC annually reviews sales, and if the dumping stops, the deposits are refunded. If the dumping continues, then the company(s) forfeits the duties or is required to pay additional duties.