International trade

US duties threaten SA citrus

The United States has announced final anti-dumping duties against imports of South African lemon juice, threatening a lucrative market.

According to XA Global Trade Advisors, 31% of South Africa’s lemon juice exports go to the US. It said SA producers would now have to find alternative markets, or US consumers would have to pay higher prices.

The US announced 22.31% anti-dumping duties against lemon juice from Brazil, but far higher duties for South African producers, ranging from 47.89% to 73.69%. This will replace a provisional duty of 74% applied to all producers from last September.

Last year, Business Report said SA exports of lemon juice to the US had risen from $4 million in 2019 to $11 million in 2021, benefiting from low rates in terms of the AGOA trade agreement between the two countries.

It quoted Rudi Richards, general manager of the SA Fruit Juice Association, as saying the provisional duty was “problematic” for SA producers.

“The US is a good market for us but now the duty, in addition to the price, makes the product too expensive to sell so we have to look for an alternative market, maybe in the Americas. But it is not going to be an easy task,” he said.