August 17, 2005

U.S. to issue decision in Brazil juice-dumping case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department on
Wednesday will issue a preliminary decision on its
investigation into whether imports of Brazilian orange juice
were sold at unfair prices below production costs.

A department spokeswoman said it would make the

duty announcement at about 1:30 p.m. EDT.

Florida Citrus Mutual, the state's largest growers
organization, asked the U.S. government on December 27 to
impose anti-dumping duties on Brazilian imports of frozen
concentrated orange juice and some not-from-concentrate juice,
citing unfair pricing. The Commerce Department in February
agreed to conduct an investigation.

Florida growers and orange juice processors accused
Brazilian processors of unfair trade practices that have caused
material injury to Florida's $9.1 billion citrus industry
during the past three years.

They contend Brazil's frozen concentrated juice was sold at
prices 37 percent less than its production cost, and other
juice was sold at prices 78 percent below its production cost.

Brazil's Citrus Exporters Association denied any
wrongdoing. It said U.S. prices are determined by the size of
the domestic orange crop, which ballooned in 2003/04 at the
same time U.S. consumption fell. Prices have since increased
sharply because of the impact of last autumn's hurricanes on
the Florida orange crop, it said.

Brazil is the world's largest exporter of orange juice, but
accounts for only 15 percent of the U.S. juice market.