Australian govt suspects Italian tomato exporters of dumping

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Australian govt suspects Italian tomato exporters of dumping

The Australian Anti-Dumping Commission has found evidence of dumping by Italian processed tomato exporters, with plans to impose duties on a range of companies for any goods sold after Nov. 1. tomatoes 2 panorama

The notice, titled 'Preliminary Affirmative Determination and Imposition of Securities', follows from an investigation that began in July and was requested by SPC Ardmona Operations Limited.

"In reaching this preliminary decision, the Commissioner is satisfied that dumped goods appear to have caused material injury to the Australian industry producing like goods," the notice said.

"Securities will be taken in respect of any interim dumping duty that may become payable in respect of the goods entered for home consumption on or after 1 November 2013."

Two big players - Italian Stock Exchange-listed La Doria S.p.A. and Emilia Romagna-based Conserve Italia Soc. Coop. Agr. - were rated as having "negligible" dumping margins and will not have to pay up, but a series of other companies will have to pay duties according to the commission's calculations.

The major exporters identified are based in the province of Campania, with the highest preliminary dumping margin calculated for Feger di Gerardo Ferraioli S.p.A. at 9.11%. Other companies include COREX S.p.A. (7.88%), De Clemente Conserve S.p.A. (6.5%) and Princes Industrie Alimentari SR (8.16%)

The commission also included a list of residual exporters that have all been given a duty margin of 8.62%, comprising Rispoli Luigi & C S.R.L., Fiamma Vesuviana Srl, Greci Industria Alimentare S.p.A., Menu Srl, Mutti S.p.A., Nolana Conserve Srl, Steriltom Srl.

All other "uncooperative exporters" will have a duty level of 9.11%.

Australia's peak vegetable and tuber grower body Ausveg highlighted the plight of SPC Ardmona as a result of Italian exporting practices, which the company claimed caused injury to business through price suppression, reduced profitability and lower sales volume.

"This report highlights the need for greater pre-emptive action to prevent dumping before it happens, rather than taking action after the industry has, as identified in this report, been damaged," Ausveg spokesperson Hugh Gurney said in a release.

"The findings of this report vindicate Mr Kelly’s (SPC Ardmona managing director Peter Kelly) calls for Safeguard Actions, as the horticulture industry is under incredible pressure from dumped foreign foods, and if this is not remedied our nation may find itself without local businesses to grow or process our own food.

"This would be a travesty for a proud agricultural nation that "rode on a sheep’s back" to become the country that we are today."

Gurney said if action were not taken to stem this trend, large employers like SPC Ardmona could go down the same road of iconic soup and sauce brand Rosella which went into receivership in December.

Statistics from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) show the country imported AUD$908 million (US$863 million) worth of vegetables in 2011-12.

"The dumping of cheaply produced produce, largely from European countries where a number of governmental support mechanisms exist, is rampant in both the processed tomato and potato industry, and it is causing significant damage to Australian processors and growers," Gurney said.

"The closure of the McCain potato processing plant in Penola last month is just the latest in a spate of closures of Australian vegetable processing plants in the past two years, largely as a result of the flood of imported frozen produce entering our country."


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