HC Deb 05 April 1971 vol 815 cc22-3W
Mr. Mudd

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) on what evidence the provisional anti-dumping levy of £2 per hundredweight on imported French broccoli, imposed on 10th March, 1971, was lifted on 26th March, 1971;

(2) whether he will institute an immediate investigation and report on Prima facie evidence of dumping passed to him by the hon. Member for Falmouth and Camborne that, during the last full week of the anti-dumping levy, broccoli cost 90p per crate in France; and, carrying transport costs of 40p per crate, 25p sales and handling charges per crate, plus £1 levy, it was offered for sale at Brentford market at between £1.75 and £2 per crate;

(3) what safeguards he now proposes to protect Cornish horticultural producers, in the light of the latest evidence of European imports undercutting the economic price of the home product.

Mr. Anthony Grant

A full investigation of the application for an anti-dumping duty was made by my officials. They inspected the books and accounts of 11 French exporters who between them accounted for more than half the French exports. A considerable amount of information was also obtained from other sources. This investigation established that by far the greater proportion of cauliflowers imported from France were not dumped and that the proportion dumped, and the margins of dumping found on that proportion, were not of such significance as to cause or threaten material injury to the United Kingdom industry. Consequently, the provisional charge was revoked.

The information supplied by the hon. Member would not justify a further investigation. My decision on this case was reached after all the freight, sales, handling costs and duties applicable had been deducted from both the domestic prices and the export prices to the United Kingdom and both prices thus reduced to the net prices received by the merchants. The provisional anti-dumping charges are not taken into account unless they are retained in payment of antidumping duties subsequently imposed. In this instance the charge was refunded and must, therefore, be left out of the calculations.

The wholesale prices of home-grown cauliflowers and broccoli rose during March and, in the three weeks ending 31st March, were at about the same level as in the corresponding period of 1969 and 1970.

I am not at present persuaded that any other action is necessary.