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Aug 2013
US trims anti-dumping duty on Indian shrimp to 5.8%

KOCHI, AUG. 16: Though the US Department of Commerce has, in its final determination, imposed a 5.85 per cent countervailing duty (CVD) on shrimps imported from India, exporters are not much perturbed as the demand from the US is on the upswing and the dollar continues to appreciate against the rupee.

The DoC, on Tuesday, cut the CVD from the earlier 5.91 per cent to 5.85 per cent. Indian exporters had hoped the preliminary rate of 5.91 per cent, fixed in May, would be substantially cut in the final determination.

However, DoC opted for only a marginal cut in the case of India, while substantially increasing China’s.

The CVD – a penal import tax to offset the alleged subsidies allowed by the governments to the shrimp exporters to the US – was imposed by the US Government on six Asian countries and Ecuador on a complaint by the Coalition of Shrimp Industries representing American shrimp farmers and processors.

The coalition had complained that these seven countries had offered huge subsidies to their respective shrimp industries, thus hurting the competitive capaci

ty of the US shrimp industry. The six Asian countries are: India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Together, they had exported 3.4 billion dollar worth of shrimps to the US.

However, Thailand and Indonesia have been spared from the CVD by the DoC in its final determination.

Ravi Reddy, President of Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI), told Business Line that even the DoC’s determination was not final.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) of the US would make the final verdict on the quantum of counter-veiling duty by the end of next month.

The ITC would take a decision on whether the subsidies had unfairly hurt the interests of US farmers and the CVD would depend on that verdict.

K.G. Lawrence, Vice-President of the association, pointed out that together with the anti-dumping duty 3.66 per cent, the total import duty of Indian shrimps in the US would be roughly 10 per cent.

“This is, of course, a huge burden on the Indian exporters, but the US demand is going up and the dollar value against the rupee is rising,” he told Business Line.

“These two factors will, by the end of the financial year, boost the shrimp export earnings.”

US demand has been on the rise because of the fall in supply from Thailand, whose shrimp farms have been hit by a unique disease.

In 2012, the US had imported $551 million worth of shrimp from India.