Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine



August 28th, 2021

Versión en Castellano

(Espacio Apícola, August 28th, 2021) US Federal Register published, on Thursday 26, the decision of the Department of Commerce (DOC) to postpone the Preliminary Determination in the investigation on what the petitioners consider Less-Than-Fair-Value price of imported honeys from Argentina, Brazil, India, Ukraine and Vietnam.

The measure had been requested from the DOC by the petitioners (see report of August 18).

"On May 11, 2021, the Department of Commerce initiated the less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigations of raw honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, Ukraine, and Vietnam. Currently, the preliminary determinations are due no later than September 28, 2021."

There are two reasons because this Determination can be postponed. The first one if "The petitioner makes a timely request for a postponement", as happened on August 17, a right that the DOC guaranteed.

The petitioners argued DOC needs more time to send out supplemental questionnaires pointing to what they considered "initially insufficient responses" from the investigated companies.

In addition, "the petitioners noted that Commerce (DOC) has not yet determined the cost of production methodology that it will rely on for many of these investigations" ... This is a complex issue and is conditioned by the characteristics of the market in each country. Among the most extreme situations is the particular US "free market", the "socialist" economy of Vietnam and the inflationary pathology of Argentina. In the latter, the recent responses from NEXCO and ACA in section "B" of the questionnaire explain how operations cannot be analyzed on a monthly basis as requested by the DOC, since the price of a lot of honey purchased in March cannot be compared with the price of honey bought in August, which is perhaps the month in which that lot bought in March is exported. Also suggesting that the price should be analyze in US dollars to minimize the impact of inflation in the analysis of prices in Argentine pesos.

For these reasons, DOC extends the Preliminary Determination until November 17, 2021 (190 days after the investigation began).

Then, the Final Determination is automatically postponed until 75 days after the previous one, on January 31, 2022, unless it is necessary to delay it even more. Therefore, the ITC's Final Anti-dumping Determination (ITC was the Commission that so significantly expanded the range of alleged injury to the US beekeeping industry) will not be issued before March 17.

At first, the impact of this delay is impling the extension of the deadline for honey dispatch to the USA until middle October under the commercial terms previous of the demand, suggested by US importers.

On the other hand, given the uncertainty due to the wide range of possible sanctions initially suggested by the ITC, with a tax floor at 9% and a maximum greater than 40%, in addition to the current delay of the Preliminar Determination, it keeps down the price of honey to the producer in Argentina. Even though the United States faces serious problems caused by drought and high temperatures and harvests forecast are below normal, according the National Honey Report of the USDA published on yesterday.

Fernando Esteban

Information generated by "Espacio Apícola" the Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine