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Commission finds fruit injury but offers no help

The Productivity Commission’s finding that safeguard measures are not warranted to protect Australia’s fruit processing industry follows an interim report that reached the same conclusion in September.

December 20, 2013 12:01pm

The Productivity Commission’s finding that safeguard measures are not warranted to protect Australia’s fruit processing industry follows an interim report that reached the same conclusion in September.

Today (December 20) the Commission issued a report concluding, the domestic industry is suffering serious injury.

The Commission found that of the four product categories of relevance, (citrus, pears, apricot, peaches and mixtures) only one, mixtures, demonstrated a sufficient increase in imports in both absolute and relative terms.

Two other product categories, pears and peaches, have, nevertheless, demonstrated an increase in imports relative to domestic production, also sufficient to pass the threshold test of increased imports under the Agreement on Safeguards.

‘‘However, injury was not caused by an increase in imports of products under reference,’’ the report said.

‘‘The clearest indicator of a surge in imports causing injury to the domestic industry is increasing price pressure from imported products. There was no compelling evidence of this for any of the product categories.’’

The Commission found other factors have caused the injury, including: decreasing domestic demand for processed fruit; rising domestic costs of production; and decreasing export volumes.

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