Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, November 26, 1994, Image 15

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    Commission Initiates Investigation Of Lamb Imports
DENVER, Colo. —At the
urging of the American Sheep
Industry Association and mem
bers of Congress, the U.S. Interna
tional Trade Commission has
been requested by the office of the
U.S. Trade Representative to
investigate competitive conditions
affecting the U.S. lamb market.
That investigation is under way
and is expected to report on U.S.
and foreign industry profiles and
whether there is government
assistance to the industries in Aus
tralia and New Zealand. If it is
determined that there is assis
tance, the investigation will look
into whether it constitutes a sub
sidy under U.S. countervailing
duty law. In addition, the investi
gation will examine U.S. and for
eign markets, U.S. imports and
NobcxiyKrxMsThe Reid Better:
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But underneath the shirt and tie, you’ll find smart but farm foolish,
theonethingtheotherbanksdon’toffer. Afellowfarmer. What’s more because Rum Credit loan
Most Rum Credit loan officers were bom officers understand fanning as well as they understand
and raised on farms and got their college degrees finances, they’re not only smarter, they’re fester After
from ag schools Nearly all cl them grew up with 4-H all they have the same loan closing authority as many
and the Future Rumers of America. local bank presidents
And, if that’s not enough every single one of So when you need competitive rales or
our loan officers goes ma v\ f f /tfVTMMWA creative options, see your
through the toughest ag rAKlfl I V r.l II MO) local Rum Credit banker
lending training program ..V , « f .T® Because nobody knows
in America. NODOdyITOOWS the field better. the field better.
exports, U.S. market penetration,
price comparisons of domestic
and imported lamb, and any other
information relating to competi
tive factors that affect the U.S.
lamb industry.
The report will focus on the
period 1991-1994 and will be sub
mitted to the USTR at the earliest
possible date, but no later than
Aug. 14,1995.
In 1994, industry members
have been heard discussing the
“flood of foreign lamb” as they
watched imports rise to near 1993
levels. In 1993 the market saw
imported lamb at the highest lev
els since 1979, and at the second
highest levels in 20 years. This
rise represented an annual increase
of 46 percent, to bring the market
share held by imports to about 11
411 W. Roseville Road
Lancaster, PA
(717) 291-1855
percent of the total U.S. lamb sup
A strong concern raised by
these facts is that, despite the
industry’s intense promotion of
domestic product to U.S. con
sumers, import levels continue to
rise. So far in 1994, information
compiled by ASI and federal
agencies shows imports are near
levels during the same period in
The primary cause for the
increasing market share of imports
can be summed-up in two words
cheap prices.
Spot checks this fall at the
wholesale level of U.S. boxed cut
prices compared with current import
price quotes shows import pricing
to be as low as half of domestic
prices in some cases. For exam
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, November 26, 1994-Al5
ple, U.S. loins averaged $5.50 per
pound compared to $2.20 per
pound for imported loins. U.S.
French racks averaged $8.30 a
pound compared to $5.50 for
imported French racks. These
unfair prices are further supple
mented by advertising programs.
“Since July of this year, due
mostly to a temporary short sup
ply, the average price for Ameri
can lamb reached historical high
levels,” said Cindy Siddov'ay,
ASl’s Legislative Council chair.
“The increase in supply of foreign
lamb, coupled with aggressive
pricing, is cause for alarm and
great concern.”
The concern is twofold. When
foreign lamb prices at the retail
level are consistently $1 to 50
cents a pound lower than the
domestic product, it makes it diffi
cult for domestic producers to
maintain their market share. In
addition, it forces U.S. growers to
lower their prices to below break
even levels for American growers,
even though the U.S. product is
clearly of superior quality.
“It's obvious that the pricing
practices are a huge concern to
domestic growers,’’ said Sid
doway. “The ITC study to be
completed in 1995 will help set
the stage for actions to address the
lamb import problem either
through legislation or action by
the administration."
The U.S. International Trade
Commission has scheduled a for
mal public hearing in connection
with the investigation for Feb. 23,
1995 in Washington, D.C.
M. i
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