Local potato producers feel “proven” by the government’s launch of a formal investigation into the dumping of cheap frozen french fries from Europe, according to industry groups.
In a study by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), local potato producers expressed concern about the threat of surplus frozen french fries from Belgium and the Netherlands flooding the market and endangering the employment of hundreds of local industries. It was done later.
Chris Claridge, CEO of PotatoesNZ, said exports from Belgium and the Netherlands increased by more than 50% this year compared to last year.
He said the Covid-19 border restrictions reduced demand for European producers and targeted countries that contained the virus, such as New Zealand and Australia, for surplus products.
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The industry filed with MBIE and demanded that in September it impose an anti-dumping tax on frozen potato fries and wedges in European countries.
MBIE exported 2076 tonnes of frozen potato fries and wedges combined in Belgium and the Netherlands in the first six months of this year while reviewing the application. This was more than half of last year’s total annual exports of 4040 tonnes.
“PNZ said that the average price of frozen potato fries and wedges, allegedly imported from Belgium and the Netherlands, was below the average selling price of the New Zealand industry during the survey period, and that prices could remain low. We have provided sufficient evidence to show the level, “MBIE said in the first report.
“This forecast also shows that the New Zealand industry will experience price declines and price restraints in the next 12 months.”
Mr Clarridge said the industry wants the government to take anti-dumping measures against European importers.
Without government intervention, the effects of dumping would lead producers to leave the industry, he said.
During the investigation, Mr. Clarridge said that if MBIE’s investigation revealed that cheap frozen fried foods were dumped in New Zealand, Belgian and Dutch companies said their actions violated international trade rules. He said he was aware that it could result in retroactive tariffs. European countries.
“Importers participated in looting activities,” said Clarridge.
“If you can’t compete with the imported frozen french fries that are dumped on our market, that means you have no industry left. All french fries are imported.
“We believe in free trade, but that doesn’t mean there are no rules. This study follows the rules of the World Trade Organization.”
MBIE is asked to comment.
European frozen chips dumped in New Zealand, according to MBIE survey
SourceEuropean frozen chips dumped in New Zealand, according to MBIE survey