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Thursday, Feb 19, 2004

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Industry & Economy - Anti-dumping
Agri-Biz & Commodities - Aquaculture

Dumping duty on shrimp imports unfair, says industry

C.J. Punnathara

Kochi , Feb. 18

THE preliminary finding of the US International Trade Commission has caused deep dismay among the Indian shrimp industry.

Reacting to the decision, Mr Jose Cyriac, Chairman of the Marine Products Export Development Authority, said: "It is an unfair decision. However, it is a preliminary finding and no material harm will come to the Indian shrimp exporting community from this finding. The shape of things to come will be decided by the next decision which is expected on June 17."

But the export community found no consolation in the decision. "It is not just unfair but also a totally one-sided decision," sources in the shrimp export community said. They said that the commission had not given sufficient credence to their arguments while coming to the decision. From the way things have been going so far, some of them feared that the decision of June 17 might recommend imposition of duties on shrimp exports from India also.

The US Department of Commerce has to identify five to six major shrimp exporters from each of these countries and send them a very detailed questionnaire. Going by the recent decisions, the Indian shrimp exporters are apprehensive.

If the US Department of Commerce decides to impose duties, the US importers will then have to post a bond for imports from individual countries. Several of the US buyers are expected to back out and those who continue will ask for bank guarantee or ask the Indian exporter to contribute to the bond.

This will lead to a sharp fall in shrimp imports to the US, leading to a shrimp price spiral in the US and a fall in prices in the Indian markets, the exporters warned. However, they pointed out that the fall in domestic prices would be because of falling exports and greater supply in the domestic markets.

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