Federal officials are launching a probe into whether wheat gluten from six countries is being dumped in Canada at prices undercutting the domestic product.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said Friday it’s launching an investigation to determine whether “certain wheat gluten” from Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Lithuania is being sold at “unfair prices” in Canada.
The probe, CBSA said, stems from a complaint filed by ADM Agri-Industries and supported by Permolex, alleging the Canadian gluten industry is now facing an “increase in the volume of the allegedly dumped imports.”
ADM, in a separate statement Friday, said its complaint alleges the gluten exporters in question are dumping in the Canadian market at prices “both substantially below the cost to produce wheat gluten and substantially below what these exporters charge in their domestic markets.”
The U.S.-based agriprocessor said its complaint “seeks a level playing field to compete on fair and equal terms (against) imports in the Canadian market.”
ADM produces gluten at its Montreal-area wheat mill at Candiac, Que., while Permolex’s plant at Red Deer, Alta. makes flour, ethanol and gluten.
ADM’s complaint also alleges “suppression of market share, lost sales, price undercutting, price depression, price suppression, accumulation of inventories, threats to investment plans, negative impacts on the ability to raise capital, impacted financial results and declines in employment wages and a reduction in hours worked,” CBSA said.
CBSA’s role in investigating dumping complaints is to see whether the imports in question are being sold in Canada at unfair prices. The agency said it expects to make its “preliminary decision” by Nov. 12.
At the same time, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) will start a preliminary inquiry into whether the imports are harming Canadian producers. The CITT expects to issue its decision by Oct. 13, CBSA said.
If the CITT’s probe finds harm, ADM said, CBSA would then slap preliminary antidumping duties on gluten imports from the six countries, starting from the date of the preliminary dumping determination.
More specifics about the case are expected to be available within 15 days in a “statement of reasons” on the CBSA website, the agency said Friday.
Wheat gluten, the natural protein in wheat, is typically used as an enhancing ingredient in whole-grain baked goods, noodles and pastas, pizza crusts and vegetarian products, as a meat filler and binder and as a protein source in livestock feeds and pet foods. — Glacier FarmMedia Network