During the first week of November the United States department of commerce announced that it would look into the “dumping” of honey by Argentinean exporters. The Commerce Department investigation will focus on whether Argentinean honey is sold at below production cost and whether government subsidies give producers there an unfair market advantage. The investigation was requested by the American Honey Producers Association, which argues that it has been harmed for over a year by low priced imports from Argentina. They maintain that Argentina’s four leading honey exporters had a margin of dumping in the range of 30% and 40%. If unfair trade practices are determined to exist, this could lead the United States to apply a protective import tax. At present the United States is the destination for 50% of Argentina’s honey exports. Argentina is the world’s largest honey exporter and export sales are valued at US$100m per annum.

By Steve Lewis