The U.S. Department of Commerce has reduced anti-dumping duties on two species of Vietnamese catfish under a preliminary conclusion of the 14th period of review (POR14) it conducted for the period from August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017.
Accordingly, the preliminary anti-dumping taxes on products of two mandatory respondents are US$0 per kilogram and $1.37 per kilogram.
The tariff for voluntary respondents is $0.41 per kilogram, while the tax imposed on other Vietnamese exporters not examined as mandatory or voluntary respondents will be $2.39 per kilogram, lower than the final results of POR13.
Although the commerce department is not scheduled to announce the final results of POR14 until January 2019, its move to lower the anti-dumping tariffs is seen as a positive signal for Vietnamese catfish exporters.
Following the last period of review, Go Dang Seafood Joint Stock Company (GODACO), the only mandatory respondent, was taxed $3.87 per kilogram, while other firms were levied at the same rate.
This was the highest-ever anti-dumping duty imposed on Vietnamese catfish exporters, six times higher than the final results of POR12.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), necessary legal proceedings were carried out to ask the U.S. department to meticulously review data provided by the Vietnamese firms and impose more rational anti-dumping taxes.
The high, irrational taxes in POR13 left little room for Vietnamese catfish to enter the U.S. market, VASEP said.
Besides high anti-dumping duties, catfish exports have been impacted by the U.S. inspection program rolled out since August this year.
VASEP said that shark catfish (Pangasiidae) exports to the U.S. market hit $196.8 million in the first six months of 2018, accounting for 19.6 percent of Vietnam’s total outbound shipments and up 11.6 percent from the same period in 2017.
A decline in the global supply during this period was attributed to the increase of Vietnam’s export revenue as it helped raise the price of catfish.