Wednesday, 18 November 2020 05:55

Spud dumping to be investigated

Written by  Peter Anderson
NZ government officials have started an investigation into cheap frozen chip imports being dumped into the country. NZ government officials have started an investigation into cheap frozen chip imports being dumped into the country.

New Zealand government officials have started an investigation into cheap frozen chip imports being dumped into the country after concerns raised by local potato growers earlier this year.

 Industry body Potatoes NZ (PNZ) says it is relieved that the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) trade remedies team has launched an investigation into the proven threat of surplus frozen fries being imported into New Zealand.

However, any outcome of this investigation is likely to be many months away.

PNZ first raised concerns about European suppliers dumping surplus frozen fries cheaply into the local market in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

In September, the New Zealand potato industry applied to MBIE’s trade response team to investigate the threat of increased dumped imports of surplus European frozen fries to the NZ potato processing sector.

“This MBIE decision was based on the positive evidence the New Zealand potato industry provided in this application,” PNZ says.

“The dumping and threat, combined with the effects of supply chain disruption caused by Covid-19, created an extraordinary situation that required investigation.

“Globally, the disruption of supply chains, and particularly sales to hospitality, by virtue of Covid-19 restrictions, has led to huge surpluses of frozen fries in major production centres – in particular the European Union (EU).”

PNZ says this has led to extraordinary surpluses in frozen potato chips and processing tubers in the EU.

According to PNZ, the NZ industry remains concerned that, along with the existing domestic impact of the pandemic crisis, any profiteering activity from overseas exporters, will in turn cause further damage to the New Zealand potato-growing and potato-processing industries.

It says, at the time of the application, the potato surplus in Europe was 1.5M tonnes, today it is estimated at 2.6M tonnes and growing by the minute due to the impacts of further lockdowns in parts of Europe.

PNZ says the situation is not unique to the NZ potato industry.

“In recent months, the US and Australia have also called for duties or actions to limit what they see as under-priced EU fry imports,” it explained. “The South African Vegetable Processors Forum, which includes Potato South Africa, McCain Foods South Africa and Lamberts Bay Foods, wants to see the South African Government take anti-dumping measures against EU exports, echoing calls coming from Australia and New Zealand.”

PNZ claims that other NZ industries may also be facing trade threats as a consequence of Covid-19 and believes it has led the way in New Zealand, by quickly utilising the toolbox available through the World Trade Organisation and MBIE.

It may take up to six months for MBIE to investigate, with both foreign exporters and NZ importers notified of the investigation.

More like this

Border controls hit spud growers

Potato growers say the recent border controls around Auckland affected supply chains and transit for staff living outside the region.

Keeping it local!

The inability to bring in experienced overseas workers is one of the big difficulties for the potato industry as it heads into the next growing season amid COVID-19.

Be careful, Potatoes NZ!

Moves by the NZ potato industry to have anti-dumping tariffs imposed on European imports could play into the hands of the EU, warns a long-time trade negotiator.


Merlo goes greener

Obviously not wishing to get left behind by some of its competitors, Italian manufacturer Merlo is planning to add to its green-liveried telehandler range- with another set of green credentials in the shape of an all-new, all-electric battery-powered Merlo e-Worker model.


Growing a family legacy

What started with planting some acacia trees 25 years ago has become a multi-generational passion for the Hunt family in Te Awamutu.

Moves to improve winter grazing requirements

DairyNZ says it supports recommendations to the Government from an advisory group looking to improve winter grazing rules for farmers and achieve better environmental outcomes.


Machinery & Products

Good growth year for Claas

While many sectors of the agricultural machinery were hit by the ravages of Covid-19, the effects of the pandemic did…

Green machine frugal on fuel

According to the industry respected independent DLG PowerMix test, John Deere appears to be the best choice of tractor for…

App takes pressure off

TRS Tyre & Wheel, owned by Trelleborg Wheel Systems, has introduced the TLC Plus App to the New Zealand market.

New MF 5S series arrives

Just before Christmas, Massey Ferguson quietly released details of the successor to its popular MF 5700S range in the shape…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound


Your old mate reckons the nomination of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) management team as a finalists in…

Good riddance!

The Hound reckons 2021 is off to a rollicking start with news that professional whinger and anti-farming drone Martin Taylor…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter