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EU imposes tariffs on Chinese frozen strawberries to aid Poland

The EU imposed tariffs of as much as 34.2% on frozen strawberries from China, seeking to shield Polish producers from imports that represent a fifth of the EU market

The European Union duties punish Chinese exporters for selling frozen strawberries in the 25-nation bloc below domestic prices or below the production cost, a practice known as „dumping.” The duties are for six months and may be prolonged for five years. The Polish frozen-strawberry industry suffered „depressed prices and deteriorating profits” as a result of a „surge in low-priced imports” from China, the European Commission said in a decision published in the Official Journal yesterday and due to take effect tomorrow. The Polish Freezing Industry Union demanded the protection in a dumping complaint last year. The anti-dumping duties aim to counter a rise in China's share of the EU frozen-strawberry market to 20% last year from 4% in 2002.

Morocco and Turkey are the other main foreign suppliers to the EU with a combined market share in the bloc of about 16% last year. The levies against China follow a nine-month dumping probe by the commission, the EU's executive arm, which said a further deterioration in the financial situation of Polish producers would be „unavoidable” without the trade protection. Under EU procedures, the Brussels-based commission can impose provisional anti-dumping duties for six months and the bloc's national governments can turn those measures into „definitive” five-year levies. (Bloomberg)