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Spanish Olives

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UPDATE #3: DOC’s Final Determination on Ripe Olives from Spain

The Department of Commerce (DOC) has made a final determination in the countervailing duty investigation and found that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of ripe olives in Spain. DOC conducted the verification of the information submitted by the European Commission, the Government of Spain and the three mandatory respondents (Spanish ripe olives producers). At the end of the process the DOC has determined that there is a subsidy, or a financial contribution by an “authority” that “gives rise to a benefit to the recipient and that such subsidy is specific”, giving advantage to Spanish ripe olive producers over domestic producers on the US market.

These are the final countervailable subsidy rates:

Exporter/producer Subsidy rate % 
Aceitunas Guadalquivir S.L.


Agro Sevilla Aceitunas S.COOP.


Angel Camacho Alimentacion S.L.




In addition to the above countervailing duty rates the following antidumping duty rates will apply:


Calculated margin

adjusted for subsidies %

Aceitunas Guadalquivir S.L.


Agro Sevilla Aceitunas S.COOP.


Angel Camacho Alimentacion S.L.




The official notice by the International Trade Commission can be found in the Federal Register (insert link)

Update #2: Preliminary Anti-Dumping Rates Of Ripe Olives From Spain Have Just Been Determined By The Doc

The antidumping duty rates for Spanish ripe olives came in late last Friday and they are, unfortunately, quite high.

“The Department of Commerce preliminarily determines that ripe olives from Spain are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation is April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2017. “

Here are the estimated weighted-average dumping margins, together with the previously determined countervailing duty rates:


AD duty rate CV duty rate

Total preliminary
duty rate

Aceitunas Guadalquivir

16.80% 2.31%


Agro Sevilla Aceitunas S.COOP 14.64% 3.75%


Angel Camacho Alimentación 19.73% 8.24%


All Others 17.13% 4.47%


These duty rates will go into effect on the day this ruling is published (later this week) in the Federal Register and importers on record will have to pay cash deposits to CBP after every entry, effective immediately.

The United States Antidumping Law and Practice allows that any exporter of the goods which are subject to that order request that Commerce conduct a review of the previous year’s imports, one year after publication of an antidumping order, as well as during each subsequent year. The purpose of these administrative annual reviews is to calculate and assess the exact amount by which the foreign market value exceeded the U.S. price of each importation during that year and to recalculate the estimated duty rate for deposits on future entries of the goods.

An administrative review is conducted in essentially the same manner as Commerce’s initial antidumping investigation, and generally must be completed within one year. Commerce will issue a questionnaire similar to that used in the original investigation and will calculate preliminary and final antidumping margins.

Depending on the new margin calculation an importer can receive a refund plus interest if the estimated duty deposit was too high or pay additional sum plus interest if the estimated duty previously paid was too low.



UPDATE: The Department of Commerce (DOC) Preliminarily Finds Countervailable Subsidization of Imports of Ripe Olives from Spain

The results of the DOC’s preliminary investigation were published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2017.


The International Trade Commission has issued the following Fact Sheet for the interested parties to better understand the decision and to be aware of the timeline of the steps that will follow. At the same time the investigation into the antidumping case continues and a preliminary decision is expected to be reached on or around January 18, 2018.

  • On November 21, 2017, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced the preliminary results of the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of imports of ripe olives from Spain.
  • The CVD law provides U.S. businesses and workers with a transparent, quasi-judicial, and internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the market-distorting effects caused by injurious dumping and unfair subsidization of imports into the United States, establishing an opportunity to compete on a level playing field.
  • For the purpose of CVD investigations, a countervailable subsidy is financial assistance from a foreign government that benefits the production of goods from foreign companies and is limited to specific enterprises or industries, or is contingent either upon export performance or upon the use of domestic goods over imported goods.
  • Commerce has calculated a preliminary subsidy rate of 2.31 percent for mandatory respondent, Aceitunas Guadalquivir S.L.U.; 2.47 percent for Agro Sevilla Aceitunas S.Coop.And.; and, 7.24 percent for Angel Camacho Alimentacion S.L.. All other producers/exporters in Spain have been assigned a preliminary subsidy rate of 4.47 percent.
  • As a result of the preliminary affirmative determination, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to require cash deposits based on these preliminary rates.


  • Commerce is scheduled to announce its final determination on or about April 4, 2018, unless the statutory deadline is extended.
  • If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination, and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes an affirmative final determination that imports of ripe olives from Spain materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry, Commerce will issue a CVD order. If either Commerce’s or the ITC’s final determinations are negative, no CVD order will be issued. The ITC is scheduled to make its final injury determination approximately 45 days after Commerce issues its final determination, if affirmative.


Aceitunas Guadalquivir S.L.U.:
Agro Sevilla Aceitunas S.Coop.And.:
Angel Camacho Alimentacion S.L.:
All Others:


Petition Filed: June 22, 2017
DOC Initiation Date: July 12, 2017
ITC Preliminary Determination*: August 11, 2017†
DOC Preliminary Determination**: November 20, 2017
DOC Final Determination**: April 3, 2018†
ITC Final Determination***: May 18, 2018
Issuance of Order****: May 25, 2018

NOTE: Commerce preliminary and final determination deadlines are governed by statute. For CVD investigations, the deadlines are set forth in sections 703(b) and 705(a)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). These deadlines may be extended under certain circumstances.
†Where the deadline falls on a weekend/holiday, the appropriate date is the next business day.
* If the ITC makes a negative preliminary determination of injury, the investigation is terminated.
**These deadlines may be extended under the governing statute.
***This will take place only in the event of a final affirmative determination from Commerce.
****This will take place only in the event of a final affirmative determination from Commerce and the ITC.

Update: Anti-dumping Duty Petition Moving Forward (Spanish Ripe Olives)

Spanish Ripe Olives: Anti-dumping Duty Petition Moving Forward

On August 4th the International Trade Commission issued an affirmative decision regarding the anti-dumping duty petition filed on Spanish ripe olives, as published in the Federal Register.

This means that the case will continue in the final phase. Such decision is not surprising; the ITC typically finds affirmative in the preliminary phase, giving themselves more time to investigate the issues they need to consider in the case before they make a final determination. One of the major issues is the pricing of retail (branded and private label) and foodservice ripe olives. The ITC was made aware by the respondents (exporters and importers) about the substantial differences in retail pricing and required further information from the petitioners (domestic packers). This will be an important question that they will continue to review in the final phase.

The Department of Commerce is also moving forward with their investigation into the countervailing duty side of the case and has issued questionnaires to the Government of Spain and to the European Commission. The DOC has also named three mandatory respondents (Spanish ripe olive manufacturers) in the anti-dumping case: Aceitunas Guadalqivir S A, Agro Sevilla, and Angel Camacho Alimentacion S.L. Respondents received various questionnaires from the DOC this week that they have to complete in a very short period of time.

Olive Oil: Early 2017 Update

The current year’s olive crop was affected by low rainfall, which inhibited sizing. Later in the season the fruit flies infested some of the crop, primarily in Italy and Greece, affecting the quality.

The main sources of oil in order of predominance are: Spain, 1.4 mt (million tons), Italy 350 kt (thousand tons), Greece 250 kt, Turkey 120 kt, Tunisia 60kt, Morocco 40 kt.

With the production in Greece and Italy reduced, the packagers (primarily in Italy) are creating a lot of demand from the Spanish suppliers, pushing the market up, perhaps beyond a normal supply & demand balance.

Olive Oil is a highly speculative commodity driven by:

  1. A few very large companies
  2. By ‘Speculadores’ which means speculators in Spanish!

These 2 forces unpredictably control the olive oil market.  The market remains quite firm now and may remain so until the spring.  In the spring, the olive trees begin to flower, just as other flowering trees, which is the first indication of how much fruit the tree will bear during the season, leading to the initial ‘speculation’ on the new season crop.

Olive Oil: Prediction For The Upcoming Season

Olive Oil:

The market is typically tumultuous and this year is no different.  The market is now at a low point for the crop year (December – November).

This year, things are pointing to a good crop, but the right amount of rain, no hail, and good sun are still needed during the growing season.  An early indication of the crop season is to see the conditions of the Spanish crop when the olive trees bloom in April.

Production from other sources such as Tunisia, Turkey, Greece, Morocco, and South America will provide our year’s total supply.  Spain, however, is the dominant source of olive oil while Italy is the dominant country for bottled olive oil.

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