Lemon juice exports from South Africa hurting U.S. - ITC

ITC deals blow to South African, Brazilian lemon juice exporters

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ITC deals blow to South African, Brazilian lemon juice exporters

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that there was a reasonable indication that South Africa and Brazil were “injuring the US market” with their exports of fresh lemons and juice concentrates.

This ruling, late on Monday, is a prelude to a protracted process of investigation likely to take months through which South Africa and Brazil will fill out already provided questionnaires and comply with the US authorities, leading to an adjustment in duties which could go in any direction.

General manager of the South African Juice Association (Saja), Rudi Richards, confirmed that South Africa and Brazil had been sent questionnaires by the ITC, which was expected to take them until March to complete, and then follows months of research along with investigations to the final decision on what the new duty structure would be like.

“It is a long process, it will take months. We do not know if the duty will be low or high. We have no idea,” Richards said. South African exports of lemon juice have been growing at a brisk pace, up 61 percent from 2018 to 2021, so any restrictions will knock the lemon industry.

The issue was brought to the spotlight in December by Ventura Coastal, an American fruit juice producer, which filed an anti-dumping application against lemon juice from South Africa and Brazil.

According to a summary of the petition, Ventura asked the ITC for a 128.61 percent anti-dumping duty against exports of lemon juice from South Africa and 555.22 percent against Brazil.

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