The Anti-Dumping Commission has found that more than half of preserved tomatoes imported from Italy have been illegally dumped and are being sold in Australia at low prices, causing material injury to the Australian industry.
The report is in response to an application filed by SPC Ardmona which alleged that the industry has suffered material injury through loss of sales volume, reduced market share, reduced revenues, and price depression, among others, arising from the dumping of processed tomatoes exported to Australia.
The Commission’s analysis found that dumping margins were between 3.25% and 26.34%. According to the report, about 56% of tomatoes imported from Italy had been dumped in Australia. Two major exporters, I.M.C.A and Lodato, have been selling their products for about 26% below their value.
According to the Commission’s assessment, dumping will continue in the absence of anti-dumping duties and exporters will continue to sell their goods to Australia at prices below their normal values.
“Given the price elasticity of demand for the goods, in particular the imported proprietary and private labelled goods, retailers will continue to strive for lower prices creating a circumstance of continued lower prices which the Australian industry cannot compete with,” said the Commission.
Material injury will also continue with the lack of anti-dumping measures and will cause further damage to the Australian industry.
Australian Made Campaign has welcomed the finding, with its Chief Executive Ian Harrison calling on the media to publicise the report widely in order to make Australian consumers aware of the matter.
“Illegal dumping is just another form of cheating,” Mr Harrison said in a media release.
“There is significant damage being done in the marketplace to companies such as SPC Ardmona, which processes genuine Aussie produce grown by genuine Aussie farmers.”
“Consumers have the ultimate say in what they purchase, and there are consequences if we all increasingly purchase imported products over great Australian produce – further job losses and problems for our farming communities are at the forefront of those consequences.”
The Anti-Dumping Commission’s report comes amidst the controversy surrounding SPC Ardmona this week. On Tuesday, the food processing company shot back at Prime Minister Tony Abbott after he claimed that SPCA’s workplace conditions are excessively generous.
The Federal Government has last week denied an appeal from SPCA, which is Australia’s last remaining fruit and vegetable processor, for a $25 million assistance plea to help modernise its business. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the decision is an “important marker” of his government’s approach to industry restructuring.