Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine



January 18th, 2022

Versión en Castellano

(Espacio Apícola, January 18th, 2022) The agreements for signing new honey supply contracts are delayed throughout the world pending a better idea on the final resolution of the dumping investigation promoted in the United States against its main honey suppliers: Argentina, India, Vietnam, Brazil and Ukraine.

Argentine honey exporters are in contact with their clients trying to agree on prices. Today, more than ever, since the beginning of the investigation in the United States, European buyers have been served on a platter the Ukrainian honeys. European offers do not reach U$S 4000 per ton of Argentine honey. But also depending on PA or glyphosate levels or a low F/G ratio, the values fall sharply.

Even though American companies have to pay tariffs now and a 10-fold increase of freight costs (today a Buenos Aires - Philadelphia  container is US$ 8,500), they are a little closer to those US$ 4,000, as some local actors have let us know. These players in Argentina said: prices should not be below US$ 4,200 FOB per ton in order to continue working as they have been up to now.


The deadline for Argentine companies to present its case brief on the Preliminary Determinations of the US DOC regarding anti dumping actions against Argentine honey and other four countries expired last Friday, January 14th.

Despite the clearly different situations of the Argentine companies, neither ACA (preliminary tariff of 24.28% plus Critical Circunstances) nor NEXCO (preliminary tariff of 7.84% only) made use of this resource, which the companies of Brazil did use in a very conciliatory tone.

(January 22) Correction: A lengthy brief case filed jointly by ACA and NEXCO appeared after our publication, as well as an even longer brief case by the petitioners. All dated January 18. Which we will comment on shortly.

Ukraine did the same but more close to rebuttal and rupture than a case brief. While Indian companies are completing the verification questionnaires and Vietnamese companies have a couple more days to submit their case briefs. All registered parties can use this resource.

The Government of Argentina (GOA) presented its case brief before the DOC in Washington. Minister Gustavo Lunazzi, in charge of the International Dispute Resolution Directorate of the Argentine Foreign Ministry, highlights "the U.S. Department of Commerce's diligent efforts in this case, and we are confident that the Department will proceed to the proper result"... In turn, it points out that "it was very demanding for the companies that answered 35 questionnaires in this case, which demonstrates the commitment of these companies to operating fairly in the US market" . He also highlights, in his brief note of one page, the great effort involved in answering the questionnaires by the beekeepers and middlemen who did so and, in the particular case of ACA, whose selected beekeepers did not respond to the questionnaires, the GOA asks the DOC that this situation does not provoke actions against ACA, which does not exercise control over its suppliers. And also, Lunazzi remarked, that both ACA and NEXCO only operate in the international market and in dollars, so inflation (in Argentina) does not play any role in those markets.

MELBRAS and SUPERMEL, both Brazilian companies, focused their case brief asking the DOC to take the Purchase Order date as the sales date. "The purchase orders represent long-term contracts for a custommade product, whereby the merchandise does not enter the United States until long after the date of contract," so they respectfully ask to the DOC that the final determination be consistent with this comment. They seek to lower the tariff imposed in a preliminary way of 7.89% and 10.52% respectively.

The Indian companies, Ambrosia and Allied, must deliver the verification questionnaires this Tuesday, January 18th. The US DOC sent them, due to the fact that the DOC cannot carry out face-to-face verifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The Indian companies had initially been taxed at 6.72 and 6.24% respectively, which generated special suspicions among stakeholders about the veracity of the documentation presented. The modification of these tariffs and further impact on whole market prices depend on how confidence this response achieves in the DOC.

Another was the attitude of the Ukrainian Sodrujestvo which seemed to have anticipated the right of rebuttal and began by saying that "the Department's preliminary antidumping duty results are unreasonable, unfair, not in accordance with law, and not supported by substantial evidence on the case record". Sodrujestvo was sanctioned with an 18.68% tax, well below our Argentinian Assn. of Coop.ACA and with even lower honey prices.

The case of Vietnam, where its both companies were initially taxed with more than 400%, was significantly aggravated by the imposition of Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances, published in the Federal Register on January 13th, by which, the American importing companies of Vietnamese honeys, must pay this tax, retroactively, from last August 25th. Neither the Government nor the companies of Vietnam have yet submitted their case brief, for which they have until this Thursday, January 20th, and a rebuttal letter next week.

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