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Are U.S. xanthan imports too inexpensive to be fair?
First, guar gum prices were soaring because of oil fracking. But when hydrocolloid supplier CP Kelco (Atlanta) filed for anti-dumping litigation with the U.S. Department of Commerce in June 2012, it was because xanthan prices were too low (download the fact sheet here)
Nutritional Outlook recently learned from CP Kelco that Chinese and Austrian xanthan suppliers have been exporting xanthan gum to the United States at prices too low for local suppliers to compete. Dumping margins, the amount by which a product is sold under normal value, were estimated by the Commerce Department to be at 17.18% and 21.69-154.07% for Austrian and Chinese suppliers and producers, respectively. As of this writing, CP Kelco reported that Commerce officials were traveling to China and Austria to verify the accuracy of those dumping margin estimates.
“We are confident that the Department of Commerce will calculate antidumping margins that reflect fair market prices for xanthan gum,” said E. Charles Bowman, vice president of marketing at CP Kelco. “Their verification process is extensive and ensures that dumping margins are based on accurate data.”
If any new data is uncovered during the Commerce trips, it will weigh into Commerce’s final determination, which is scheduled for May 18, 2013 and likely to include tariffs on foreign xanthan.