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Mexico launches anti-dumping probe on U.S. apples

WASHINGTON — Mexico's Economy Secretariat has launched an anti-dumping investigation on U.S. apples in response to a petition filed by fruit growers alleging U.S. apples entered the Mexican market at below fair market rate, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA's notice says Mexico initiated the antidumping duty investigation on Dec. 4 on U.S. fresh apples shipped from January to December 2013.

The latest action is in response to a petition filed by a regional producer association, the Unión Agrícola Regional de Fruticultores del Estado de Chihuahua, or UNIFRUT. The state of Chihuahua is the largest producer of apples in Mexico.

Interested parties have until Jan. 16, 2015 to submit responses or arguments for consideration by Economía's Unidad de Prácticas Comerciales Internacionales.

In the meantime, U.S. apple exports are expected to increase this year by 4 percent to 875,000 tons, primarily on rising shipments to Mexico, said a USDA report released this month on the world apple market.

However, USDA said Mexico's apple production is forecast to drop 22 percent to 670,000 tons, while imports are expected to increase 15 percent to 260,000 tons.

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