Since initial findings of significant injury to US shrimpers, fears of tariffs that could be brought in retroactively from March onwards have had a major impact on the shrimp fishing business in major producer countries.
Indian glucosamine supplier Pharmed Medicare said recently that its stocks are down about 30 per cent while costs are up by around 300 per cent, a result of the shortage of raw materials. Prices have therefore risen from around $4 per kg six months ago (said to be an artificially low price) to near $20 per kg in recent weeks.
And this was before the US department of commerce announced its preliminary findings on India's imports.
The ITA said yesterday that shrimp producers have sold frozen and canned warmwater shrimp from Brazil, Ecuador, India, and Thailand in the US market at less than fair value, with margins ranging up to 68 per cent for Brazil, betwee 6.08 to 9.35 per cent for Ecuador, 3.56 to 27.49 per cent for India, and 5.56 to 10.25 per cent for Thailand.
Interested parties can submit comments on these preliminary determinations, to be considered before the department makes its final determinations on or about 17 December. If the Department makes a final affirmative determination in these investigations, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) is scheduled to make its final injury determination on or about 31 January 2005.
And if the ITC makes a final affirmative determination that imports were materially injuring, or threatening to materially injure, the domestic industry, the Department will issue antidumping duty orders and will instruct Customs to collect cash deposits on imports of subject merchandise.
It is not clear when shrimp fishing will return to previous levels. In the meantime, the situation is likely to offer new opportunities to higher quality products and new glucosamine variants, such as the vegetarian option recently introduced in the US by Cargill.