On October 27, 2014, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced its affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of imports of sugar from Mexico. Commerce determined that sugar from Mexico has been sold in the United States at dumping margins ranging from 39.54 percent to 47.26 percent. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will now require cash deposits based on these preliminary rates, adjusted for export subsidies as appropriate.
Mandatory respondents Fondo de Empresas Expropiadas del Sector Azucarero (FEESA) and Ingenio Tala S.A. de C.V. and certain affiliated companies of Grupo Azucarero Mexico S.A. de C.V. (collectively, the GAM Group) received preliminary dumping margins of 39.54 percent and 47.26 percent, respectively. All other producers/exporters in Mexico received a preliminary dumping margin of 40.76 percent.
Sugar within the scope of this investigation includes raw sugar (sugar with a sucrose content by weight in a dry state that corresponds to a polarimeter reading of less than 99.5 degrees) and estandar or standard sugar which is sometimes referred to as “high polarity” or “semi-refined” sugar (sugar with a sucrose content by weight in a dry state that corresponds to a polarimeter reading of 99.2 to 99.6 degrees). Sugar within the scope of this investigation includes refined sugar with a sucrose content by weight in a dry state that corresponds to a polarimeter reading of at least 99.9 degrees. Sugar within the scope of this investigation includes brown sugar, liquid sugar (sugar dissolved in water), organic raw sugar and organic refined sugar.
Inedible molasses is not within the scope of this investigation. Specialty sugars, e.g., rock candy, fondant, sugar decorations, are not within the scope of this investigation. Processed food products that contain sugar, e.g., beverages, candy, cereals, are not within the scope of this investigation.
On October 27, 2014, Commerce announced that it initialed draft agreements suspending the countervailing duty (CVD) and AD investigations of sugar from Mexico. The proposed agreements cover imports of sugar from Mexico as defined in the scope of the investigations. The CVD agreement was initialed by the Government of Mexico, and the AD agreement was initialed by representatives of substantially all of the Mexican sugar exporters. The CVD agreement includes the quantitative export limits on sugar imports from Mexico. The AD agreement includes reference, or minimum, prices on sugar imports from Mexico. Interested parties have an opportunity to comment on the texts of the proposed suspension agreements. Comments are due on November 10, 2014.
If final AD and CVD agreements are signed, Commerce expects to suspend the AD and CVD investigations. Cash deposits would be refunded to importers and no final determinations would be issued. Final AD and CVD agreements may be signed no earlier than November 26, 2014.
In 2013, imports of sugar from Mexico were valued at an estimated $1.1 billion.