The Anti-Dumping Commission says Australian tomato processor SPC Ardmona has been damaged by unfairly cheap product coming in from Italy.
In a preliminary report, the Commission concluded that some Italian exporters have been dumping processed tomatoes in Australian market; that is, selling them more cheaply than they would in Italy.
After considering products exported to Australia by eight companies, the Commission has made a preliminary recommendation that additional tariffs be imposed in the short-term, on product imported by companies that have been found to have dumped.
The Commission also found that dumped goods made up 3 per cent of the total volume of processed tomatoes imported into Australia.
“The Commission considers the volume of goods dumped to be not a negligible volume,” the report states.
The inquiry began in July, following an appeal from Australian tomato processor SPC Ardmona, which says it’s been made unprofitable by unfairly cheap imports. SPCA argued that dumped tomatoes have pushed retail prices below sustainable levels, and forced the company to heavily discount its own product, affecting its ability to cover costs.
The Anti-Dumping Commission found that the information provided by SPCA was reliable, and concluded that dumped product has indeed injured the Australian processor.
“The Commission considers that lower retail shelf prices for Italian imports stemmed from dumped export prices,” the report states.
“As a consequence, SPCA’s selling prices to the retail sector were impacted as it sought to remain price competitive with its retail shelf prices in an attempt to stem further losses of volume and market share to dumped imports from Italy.
“The Commission preliminarily finds that dumped exports of prepared or preserved tomatoes from Italy contributed to SPCA’s prices being depressed and suppressed during the investigation period.”
The Commission’s investigation is ongoing, and it says it will also consider other possible causes of injury to the domestic tomato processing industry.
The Anti-Dumping Commission’s final report is expected to be delivered in January to the Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, who will then make a final determination on whether the temporary additional duties should remain in place, and at what level.