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:
||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:
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)
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
|Agro Sevilla Aceitunas S.COOP
|Angel Camacho Alimentación
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.
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.
PRELIMINARY SUBSIDY RATES: SPAIN
EXPORTER/PRODUCER SUBSIDY RATE:
Aceitunas Guadalquivir S.L.U.:
Agro Sevilla Aceitunas S.Coop.And.:
Angel Camacho Alimentacion S.L.:
CASE CALENDAR BY EVENT VS. CVD INVESTIGATION DATE:
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.
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.
RIPE OLIVES FROM SPAIN: Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations
As published in The Federal Register on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, the USITC (United States International Trade Commission) has just initiated an investigation to determine whether the domestic industry is “materially injured or threatened with material injury … by reason of imports of ripe olives from Spain.”
These investigations are instituted in response to a petition filed on June 22, 2017, by the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives, consisting of Bell-Carter Foods, Walnut Creek, CA, and Musco Family Olive Company, Trace, CA. The Coalition alleges that Spanish ripe olives are sold in the United States at less than fair value and that their production is subsidized by the Government of Spain. Unless the Department of Commerce extends the time for initiation, the ITC must reach a preliminary determination in antidumping and countervailing duty investigation in 45 days, by August 7, 2017. The alleged dumping margins range from 84% to 232%.
It’s important to know that antidumping duties (AD) are assessed if foreign exporters sell to U.S. customers at “dumped” prices AND the U.S. industry is found to be injured or threatened with injury as a result of such imports. Countervailing duties (CV) are assessed if unfair subsidies are provided by a foreign government to benefit the production or exportation of the goods AND the U.S. industry is found to be injured or threatened with injury as a result of such imports. In this case the petitioners allege that both circumstances prevail.
The timing of the petition couldn’t have been worse; most Spanish olive packers and importers were busy preparing for and then attending the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York last week and earlier this week. With the long holiday weekend coming, the interested parties in the U.S. don’t have too much time to respond to the ITC’s quite extensive questionnaire that is due back on July 6th. Interested parties include Spanish manufacturers and exporters, as well as U.S. “importers of record” whose name appears on the Customs entry of products whose HTS numbers are listed in the scope of the petition.
The public records of the investigations can be found on the USITC website:
Mandarin Orange production to finish early in China due to poor crop.
Our buyers have recently traveled to China and visited several mandarin orange packers in Zhejiang province (Ningbo area).
There are several growing areas in China, like Hunan, Hubei, and Zhejiang Provinces. According to packers, the crop in Zhejiang is some 40% shorter than in a regular year, while the crop is decent in the other provinces in terms of volume but poor in quality as fruit is small due to lack of rain. These other growing areas are in the middle of the country and domestic freight from Hunan and Hubei Provinces to ocean ports or to other factories in Zhejiang or Shandong Provinces makes the raw material very expensive.
Also, it may be hard to believe, but factories are having a hard time hiring workers. Processing mandarin orange segments requires a lot of manual labor and it’s a seasonal job. Some large factories pack nothing but mandarin oranges and they are only open for 2-3 months per year, so a temporary and tough job is not very appealing to workers.
China is facing challenges regarding environmental issues. The country is very polluted and the air quality is bad; as we can all see on the news and on the internet. The government is taking tough measures in order to “clean up” the air and the land; these clean-up efforts affect the food processing factories as well: they must contain and clean their waste and that costs a lot on money. Higher fruit prices, rising labor cost and expenses related to environmental clean-up contribute to higher production costs.
On the other hand, China’s largest competition in this business, Spain, is experiencing a good season, with expectations to exceed normal production volume due to strong demand. Chinese mandarins are subject to anti-dumping duties in Europe that can make their product hardly competitive when the crop is abundant in Spain.
The USA remains China’s main export market and even though the cost of production seems to have increased we expect the prices to remain around last year’s levels because of the decreased demand from Europe. Chinese packers traditionally continue processing mandarin oranges through Chinese New Year that falls on January 28th this year but we are hearing that production will be completed by end December or early January in most factories.