Australia’s new anti-dumping body has agreed to look into claims from local fruit processor SPC Ardmona that South Africa is dumping peaches into the country.

The Anti-Dumping Commissioner said yesterday (10 July) it would look into allegations South Africa has exported peaches to Australia at less their normal value.

SPC Ardmona claims the exports have caused “material injury” to the Australian peach sector through putting pressure on prices, which has hit sales. The processor, owned by Australian drinks group and Coke bottler Coca-Cola Amatil, said the dumping has also affected the way it uses production capacity.

Interested parties have until 19 August to submit applications to the commissioner.

SPC Ardmona MD Peter Kelly said: “This news validates the hard work we have undertaken over the last few months on our plans to revitalise our company.

“We are determined to fight for our business in the Goulburn Valley and the future of Australian food processing. We believe we have a very clear case for anti-dumping measures and it’s encouraging that the Government has deemed there to be enough evidence to warrant a formal investigation.

“New Zealand has had successful anti-dumping measures in place for the same products for more than a decade. We’re hopeful that the new streamlined process and the Minister’s new team will provide a fair outcome for our industry.”

In February, Coca-Cola Amatil announced a “significant” write-down of assets and goodwill at SPC Ardmona.

It said at the time: “The strong Australian dollar continued to impact SPC Ardmona’s competitiveness against cheap, lower-quality imported brands and retailer private-label categories in Australia, while a 20% deflation in fresh fruit prices also resulted in a shift from packaged to fresh fruit.”