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Trade Situation and Policy Updates
National Survey for Potato Mop Top Virus
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced plans on October 9, to conduct a national survey for potato mop top virus (PMTV), the results of which will represent every certified seed lot in the United States. USDA is funding this survey under the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program. PMTV was confirmed for the first time in the United States in Maine in August 2002. In order to determine the distribution of PMTV in seed-producing states, APHIS will test approximately 3,000 tubers per state. The samples will include tubers from all certified seed lots grown in the 17 states that produce certified seed potatoes. The results of the PMTV survey, which will be available in late 2002, will form the basis for any future regulatory action by APHIS. If PMTV is determined to have limited distribution, APHIS will consider regulatory steps to prevent the interstate movement of infected seed. PMTV, which does not affect humans, is a soil borne virus transmitted by the fungus that causes potato powdery scab disease. PMTV may cause discoloration, or necrotic rings in infected tubers, as well as various types of mottling and stunting in above ground portions of infected plants. Losses of up to 20 percent have been reported as a result of reduced tuber production and loss of tuber quality.
Lower U.S. Orange and Grapefruit Production for 2002/03
On October 11, 2002, NASS released preliminary estimates for the 2002/03 citrus crops in the United States. The initial forecast for 2002/03 orange production is 10.3 million tons, down 10 percent from last year. All of the reduction is the result of a lower crop in Florida. Florida’s orange crop is forecast at 8.0 million tons, 14 percent below last year’s level. Somewhat offsetting the decline in Florida’s production is a nearly 13-percent rise in California’s orange crop. Most of Florida’s orange crop is utilized for juice production, whereas the majority of California’s crop goes for fresh use. In addition, the majority of the oranges that the United States exports are navel oranges from California. During the current marketing year, November-July 2001/02, U.S. exports of oranges totaled 465,738 metric tons, down 12 percent from the previous year. Canada, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and China are the United States largest markets for oranges accounting for 86 percent of the November-July 2001/02 total. With the larger supplies of navel oranges forecast from California, U.S. exports of oranges in 2002/03 should post a recovery. U.S. production of grapefruit is forecast to decline again in 2002/03 to 2.0 million tons, down 8 percent from 2001/02. This will be the lowest production level since the freeze reduced 1989/90 level. U.S. exports of grapefruit during the current marketing year, September-July 2001/02 totaled 392,603 metric tons, an increase of nearly 3 percent from 2000/01. With the forecast drop in production for 2002/03, supplies available for export are estimated to be down as well. Japan is by far the largest market for U.S. grapefruit, accounting for 50 percent of the total this marketing year.
Final Rule for Importation of Clementines from Spain Effective 10/15/2002
The much-anticipated final rule to renew the importation of Spanish clementines was signed by Deputy Under Secretary Butler on Tuesday, October 15, 2002. The rule is effective immediately, and was submitted to the Federal Register for publication on 10/16/2002. APHIS expects actual publication on Monday, October 21, but has not yet confirmed that date; nonetheless, the final rule is effective as of the signature date of October 15.
U.S. Pistachio Production in 2002 is Expected to Reach Record Level
According to the latest estimate from the California Agricultural Statistics Service (CASS), the state is set to produce a bumper crop of 127,008 metric tons of pistachios in 2002. Growers claim that the crop is the best quality they have ever seen at this stage of the harvest. The outlook for marketing the record volume is bright due to continued strong global demand, a lack of carryover into 2002 and possibly into 2003, and because of the crop’s overall high quality. In calendar year 2001, the United States exported 33,211 tons of pistachios, with an associated value of approximately $109 million. China, Belgium, and Germany were the top three export destinations in 2001, purchasing around 50 percent of the total export quantity with a value of $46.5 million. Markets in Europe, China, Japan, and Canada continue to grow at a rapid rate.
Commerce Department Seeks Public Comment On Chinese Apple Juice Antidumping Duties
The U.S. Department of
Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) has requested public
comments for its first annual review of the antidumping order against apple
juice concentrate from China. The
request follows a July 2002 preliminary determination by the department, which
proposed to eliminate the 51.74 percent antidumping duties on imported apple
juice for 10 Chinese producers. During
the first administrative review of the antidumping decision, the ITA changed the
method of calculating the cost of production of apple juice concentrate in
India, which was used as a surrogate market economy for China. ITA has invited comments by October 31, 2002, on whether the
Indian juice apple price used was correct or if another country should be use as
a surrogate. In May 2000, the
United States began applying antidumping duties of up to 51.74 percent on
Chinese concentrate apple juice, following a finding that Chinese concentrate
was sold in the U.S. market at prices below production costs, causing economic
harm to U.S. concentrate producers. Following
the initiation of the dumping investigation, imports from China dipped, but they
have rebounded to levels exceeding the pre-dumping case levels.
In fact, apple juice from China remains among the lowest-priced options
for U.S. importers, with that country supplying over 16 percent of the total
volume imported in calendar year 2001. Other
leading suppliers to the United States include Argentina, Chile, and Germany.
In 2001, the volume of U.S. imports of Chinese apple juice increased 13
percent to 215 million liters, while the associated value fell 12 percent to $33