Florida Citrus Mutual Thursday filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) after a major Brazilian processor violated trade law by dumping orange juice into the domestic marketplace. Hear comments from Mutual CEO Mike Sparks in this report.
In the filing, Florida Citrus Mutual asserts that Sao Paulo-based Citrovita beginning in 2008 sold orange juice into the United States at prices well below its calculated cost of production which is prohibited under an existing anti-dumping order against Brazilian processors.
“Florida Citrus Mutual continually monitors trade data to determine whether orange juice exporters are playing by the rules and we believe that Citrovita’s exports need to be investigated” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “The Florida citrus grower deserves to operate in a fair marketplace and that isn’t the case when Brazilian juice processors dump product into the United States. We won’t stand for it.”
The action against Citrovita is in addition to a current anti-dumping order on orange juice that was issued in March 2006 which subjected four 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.
Mutual is asking the DOC to investigate Citrovita through a “change in circumstance” petition that would add the company to the current order.
The 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.
Under the DOC rules, the agency must decide whether to initiate a review of Citrovita within 45 days after the filing. The Department then has 270 days to make a determination on Mutual’s claims.
The Florida citrus industry creates a $9.3 billion annual economic impact, employing nearly 76,000 people, and covering more than 576,000 acres. Founded in 1948 and currently representing nearly 8,000 grower members, Florida Citrus Mutual is the state’s largest citrus grower organization. For more information, visit www.flcitrusmutual.com