Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine



November 18th, 2021

Versión en Castellano

(Espacio Apícola, November 18th, 2021) Finally, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) resolved affirmatively the Preliminary Determination against raw honey from Argentina, Brazil, India, Ukraine and Vietnam today.

Regarding the Argentine case, the two companies that refused the investigation (Industrial Haedo S.A. and CIPSA) were sanctioned with a rate of 49.44% over the sale price. For its part, NEXCO S.A., which was answering the seventh supplementary questionnaire this Monday, received a penalty of 7.84%; while the Asociación de Cooperativas Argentinas ACA was severely sanctioned with 24.28%, considering they were collaborating with the investigation from the beginning. Two facts to which we had already referred here and in our Espacio Apícola magazine No. 132, we presume they had particular influence: on the one hand, the DOC decided to compare ACA's sales prices to the United States with ACA's sales prices to Japan, when as we pointed out from time to time and is publicly known, the real demands of the two markets differ significantly; and on the other hand, the two beekeepers presented by ACA and who refused to answer the questionnaires, ended up being explosions below the water line of their defense. At this time, the people of ACA are evaluating the possibility of appealing this Preliminary Determination.
The situation for the rest of the Argentine companies is not initially very auspicious either, since they all receive a sanction of 16.06%, it is almost the same level of taxes for Argentina honeys in the European Union.

Similar situation were reached in the case of Brazil, which should be celebration for the Brazilian honey exporters since the percentages initially demanded were much higher and, furthermore, in the same statistics of the DOC's resolution it is clearly seen that Brazilian organic honey was sold cheaper in the United States than conventional honey from Argentina. Melbras was sanctioned with 7.89% while Apiário Diamante with 29.61%, leaving a 20.19% surcharge for the other exporting companies.

The big surprise came from India where the two companies investigated were sanctioned below 7%. Allied Natural Product will pay 6.24% while Ambrosia N.P. 6.72% leaving a tax of 6.48% for the rest of the exporting companies of India. Undoubtedly, the effort made by the legitimate Indian beekeeping industry in its fight against fraud, as we published in Espacio Apícola 131, get its prize in this investigation.

If we analyze in absolute terms which import could more or less harm US honey producers, according to the same statistics published by the DOC in the resolution, we find that Argentine honey is, by far, the one that was sold at the highest price during the Period of Investigation (POI). In this period, which covers almost the entire year 2020, Argentina exported 39,838 tons of honey to the United States for about 92.84 million dollars, which means an average price of US$ 2.33/kg of honey: while in the same period, India sold in the United States a similar quantity, about 37,460 tons, for a 35% lower value, of 57.38 million dollars, which is equivalent to US$ 1.53/kg of honey. The result of the comparison between honey from Argentina with that from Brazil is similar, even more so if we consider that honey exported by Brazil is mostly certified organic. The price differences per color are not so great.

For its part, it is striking that the three Ukrainian companies that refused to colaborate in the investigation received only 32.45% tax while those of Argentina were almost 50%, when the percentage sanctioned for Sodrujestvo, the only company that responded from Ukraine, it was 18.68% and this will be the same percentage for the other companies, more than two hundred and fifty basis points above the penalty for other companies in Argentina, so it is not clear why a punitive percentage was applied so low to companies that export Ukrainian honey, that they are not even Ukrainian and that they did not colaborate in the investigation.

Vietnamese companies received a derisory penalty. Ban Me Thuot should pay a 413.99% tax and DakLak Honeybee 410.93%, leaving 412.49% for the rest of the Vietnamese companies.

Regarding the dreaded request for "critical circumstances", which would lead to a retroactive payment of levies, alleged by the petitioners against Argentina, Brazil and India, it would have been rejected by the DOC for Brazil and India, while for the Argentine case it has been unclear.

The new calendar for this investigation is as follows:
DOC Final Determination: April 8, 2022
Final Determination of the International Trade Commission (ITC): May 23, 2022
Issuance of Order: May 30, 2022

Follow this thread

Fernando Esteban

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