- Segunda-Feira 25 de janeiro de 2021
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Growers petition on juice dumping Fla. citrus group files claim against Brazilian processor

- bneill@bradenton.com


Floridas largest citrus grower trade organization has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce alleging that a Brazilian citrus processer violated trade law by dumping orange juice into the domestic marketplace.

The petition by Lakeland-based Florida Citrus Mutual follows similar actions the trade organization has taken in recent years.

Florida Citrus Mutual alleges that Sao Paulo-based Citrovita began selling orange juice in the United States in 2008 at prices below its calculated cost of production, thereby undercutting domestic growers.

The process is referred to as dumping.

By filing the petition, Florida Citrus Mutual is attempting to add Citrovita to a list of companies already under pricing scrutiny by the Commerce Department.

An anti-dumping order, which resulted from Florida Citrus Mutual petitions, was issued in March of 2006 that subjected Brazilian exporters Citrosuco, Cutrale, a Louis Dreyfus affiliate and Montecitrus to pricing scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Commerce. To offset the unfair prices, the exporters are required to pay an annual deposit that can only be refunded if they do not dump product.

Florida Citrus Mutual is asking the Commerce Department to investigate Citrovita through a change in circumstance petition that would add the company to the current order.

Attempts to reach Citrovita for comment were unsuccessful.

The previous anti-dumping 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.

Andrew Meadows, spokesman for Florida Citrus Mutual, did say the trade group plans to pursue the current petition aggressively.

Dumping is a predatory practice that is not allowed under U.S. trade law for a lot of reasons, Meadows said. In our case, it can significantly damage Florida citrus growers. Certainly we are going to pursue it aggressively and we think we have a solid case.

In past anti-dumping actions, local orange juice distributor Tropicana has sided with the Brazilian companies in the dumping dispute.

As the Bradenton Herald has reported, Tropicana has argued from the beginning that the U.S. citrus industry suffered no injury from importation of Brazilian juice.

Officials with Tropicana could not be reached Tuesday for comment on this newest action.

Thomas Spreen, chairman of the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida, said there is no question that dumping hurts Florida farmers, although he couldnt speak to the specifics of Citrovitas business practices.

If its true, dumping says that youre selling product below cost, Spreen said. So if youre in the country thats getting dumped into, then certainly domestic growers are going to feel a negative effect from it.

 By - http://www.bradenton.com/business/story/1418210.html



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