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Notice

Notice of Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination Not To Revoke Order in Part: Canned Pineapple Fruit From Thailand

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

In response to requests by producers/exporters of subject merchandise and by the petitioner, the Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on canned pineapple fruit (CPF) from Thailand. This review covers nine producers/exporters of the subject merchandise. The period of review (POR) is July 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999.

We preliminarily determine that sales have been made below normal value (NV). If these preliminary results are adopted in our final results, we will instruct the U.S. Customs Service to assess antidumping duties based on the difference between the export price (EP) or the constructed export price (CEP), as applicable, and the NV.

Furthermore, if these preliminary results are adopted in our final results of this administrative review, we do not intend to revoke the antidumping duty order with respect to Malee Sampran Public Co., Ltd., based on the fact that the company has not made sales at not less than normal value during each of the last three review periods. See Preliminary Determination Not To Revoke section of this notice.

Interested parties are invited to comment on the preliminary results. Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument and (3) a table of authorities. Further, we would appreciate it if parties submitting Start Printed Page 48451written comments would provide the Department with an additional copy of the public version of any such comments on a diskette.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

August 8, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Constance Handley or Charles Riggle, AD/CVD Enforcement Group II, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0631 or (202) 482-0650, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Applicable Statute and Regulations

Unless otherwise indicated, all citations to the statute are references to the provisions effective January 1, 1995, the effective date of the amendments made to the Tariff Act of 1930 (the Act) by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA). In addition, unless otherwise indicated, all citations to Department regulations refer to the regulations codified at 19 CFR Part 351 (April 1999).

Background

On July 18, 1995, we published in the Federal Register the antidumping duty order on CPF from Thailand (60 FR 36775). On July 15, 1999, we published in the Federal Register the notice of “Opportunity to Request an Administrative Review” of this order, covering the period July 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999 (64 FR 38181).

The following producers/exporters of CPF requested a review in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(2): Vita Food Factory (1989) Co., Ltd. (Vita); Siam Fruit Canning (1988) Co., Ltd. (SIFCO); Siam Food Products Public Co. Ltd. (SFP); The Thai Pineapple Public Co., Ltd. (TIPCO); Malee Sampran Public Co., Ltd. (Malee); The Prachuab Fruit Canning Company Ltd. (PRAFT); Thai Pineapple Canning Industry (TPC); and Tropical Food Industries Co., Ltd. (TROFCO).

In addition, on July 30, 1999, the petitioner, Maui Pineapple Company, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), requested a review of Kuiburi Fruit Canning Co. Ltd. (KFC), Malee, PRAFT, SIFCO, SFP, TIPCO, TPC and Vita.

On August 30, 1999, we published the notice of initiation of this antidumping duty administrative review covering the period July 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999 (64 FR 47167).

Scope of the Review

The product covered by this review is canned pineapple fruit (CPF). For purposes of the review, CPF is defined as pineapple processed and/or prepared into various product forms, including rings, pieces, chunks, tidbits, and crushed pineapple, that is packed and cooked in metal cans with either pineapple juice or sugar syrup added. CPF is currently classifiable under subheadings 2008.20.0010 and 2008.20.0090 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). HTSUS 2008.20.0010 covers CPF packed in a sugar-based syrup; HTSUS 2008.20.0090 covers CPF packed without added sugar (i.e., juice-packed). Although these HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, our written description of the scope is dispositive.

Verification

As provided in section 782(i)(3) of the Act, we verified information provided by Malee, PRAFT, SFP and TIPCO. We used standard verification procedures, including on-site inspection of the respondent producers' facilities and examination of relevant sales and financial records. Our verification findings are outlined in the verification reports, which will be placed in the case file in Room B-099 of the Main Department of Commerce Building.

Fair Value Comparisons

We compared the EP or the CEP, as applicable, to the NV, as described in the Export Price and Constructed Export Price and Normal Value sections of this notice. We first attempted to compare contemporaneous sales in the U.S. and comparison markets of products that were identical with respect to the following characteristics: weight, form, variety, and grade. Where we were unable to compare sales of identical merchandise, we compared U.S. products with the most similar merchandise sold in the comparison market based on the characteristics listed above, in that order of priority. Where there were no appropriate comparison market sales of comparable merchandise, we compared the merchandise sold in the United States to constructed value (CV), in accordance with section 773(a)(4) of the Act. For all respondents except SIFCO, we based the date of sale on the date of the invoice. For SIFCO, we based the date of sale on the contract date. According to SIFCO, any changes to the material terms of sale occur before the original contract is signed, and these terms do not change once the contract is issued. Therefore, because the material terms of sale were firmly set on this date, we relied on contract date as the date of sale.

Export Price and Constructed Export Price

For the price to the United States, we used, as appropriate, EP or CEP as defined in sections 772(a) and 772(b) of the Act, respectively. Section 772(a) of the Act defines EP as the price at which the subject merchandise is first sold by the exporter or producer outside the United States to an unaffiliated purchaser for exportation to the United States, before the date of importation, or to an unaffiliated purchaser for exportation to the United States.

Section 772(b) of the Act defines CEP as the price at which the subject merchandise is first sold inside the United States before or after the date of importation, by or for the account of the producer or exporter of the merchandise, or by a seller affiliated with the producer or exporter, to an unaffiliated purchaser, as adjusted under subsections 772(c) and (d) of the Act.

For all respondents, we calculated EP and CEP, as appropriate, based on the packed prices charged to the first unaffiliated customer in the United States.

In accordance with section 772(c)(2) of the Act, we reduced the EP and CEP by movement expenses and export taxes and U.S. import duties, where appropriate. Section 772(d)(1) of the Act provides for additional adjustments to CEP.

We determined the EP or CEP for each company as follows:

TIPCO

We calculated an EP for all of TIPCO's sales because the merchandise was sold either directly by TIPCO or indirectly through its U.S. affiliate, TIPCO Marketing Co. (TMC), to the first unaffiliated purchaser in the United States prior to importation, and CEP was not otherwise warranted based on the facts of record. Although TMC is a company legally incorporated in the United States, the company has neither business premises nor personnel in the United States. All activities transacted on behalf of TMC, including invoicing, paperwork processing, receipt of payment, and arranging for customs and brokerage, are conducted in Thailand where all TMC employees are located. Accordingly, as the merchandise was sold before importation by TMC outside the United States, we have determined these sales to be EP transactions. See Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Mexico: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 65 FR 37518 (June 15, 2000) and accompanying Decision Memo at Comment 3. Start Printed Page 48452

We calculated EP based on the packed FOB or CIF price to unaffiliated purchasers for exportation to the United States. In accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act, we made deductions from the starting price for foreign movement expenses (including brokerage and handling, port charges, stuffing expenses, and inland freight), international freight, U.S. customs duties, and U.S. brokerage and handling.

SFP

We calculated an EP for all of SFP's sales because the merchandise was sold directly by SFP outside the United States to the first unaffiliated purchaser in the United States prior to importation, and CEP was not otherwise indicated. SFP has one employee in the United States; however, this employee does not: (1) Take title to the subject merchandise; (2) issue invoices or receive payments; or (3) arrange for other aspects of the transaction. The merchandise was shipped directly by SFP in Bangkok to the unaffiliated customer in the United States. The information on the record indicates that SFP's Bangkok office is responsible for confirming orders and for issuing the invoice directly to the customer. Payment also is sent directly from the unaffiliated U.S. customer to SFP in Bangkok. Therefore, the Department has determined that these sales were made in Bangkok prior to importation and, thus, are properly classified as EP transactions.

We calculated EP based on the packed FOB or C&F price to unaffiliated purchasers for exportation to the United States. We made deductions for foreign movement expenses and international freight in accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act.

Vita

We calculated an EP for all of Vita's sales because the merchandise was sold directly by Vita outside the United States to the first unaffiliated purchaser in the United States prior to importation, and CEP was not otherwise indicated. We calculated EP based on the packed FOB or C&F price to unaffiliated purchasers for exportation to the United States. In accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act, we made deductions from the starting price for foreign movement expenses and international freight.

KFC

We calculated an EP for all of KFC's sales because the merchandise was sold directly by KFC outside the United States to the first unaffiliated purchaser in the United States prior to importation, and CEP was not otherwise indicated. We calculated EP based on the packed, FOB or C&F price to unaffiliated purchasers for exportation to the United States. In accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act, we made deductions from the starting price for foreign movement expenses and international freight.

SIFCO

We calculated an EP for all of SIFCO's sales because the merchandise was sold directly by SIFCO outside the United States to the first unaffiliated purchaser in the United States prior to importation, and CEP was not otherwise indicated. We calculated EP based on the packed, FOB price to unaffiliated purchasers for exportation to the United States. In accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act, we made a deduction from the starting price for foreign inland freight.

TPC

During the POR, TPC had both EP and CEP transactions. We calculated an EP for sales where the merchandise was sold directly by TPC outside the United States to the first unaffiliated purchaser in the United States prior to importation, and CEP was not otherwise warranted based on the facts of record. We calculated a CEP for sales made by TPC's affiliated U.S. reseller, Mitsubishi International Corporation (MIC), after importation of the subject merchandise into the United States. EP and CEP were based on the packed FOB, ex-warehouse, or delivered price to unaffiliated purchasers in, or for exportation to, the United States. We made deductions for discounts and rebates, including early payment discounts, promotional allowances, freight allowances, and billback discounts and rebates. We also made deductions for movement expenses in accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act. These include inland freight from plant to port of exportation, foreign brokerage and handling, other miscellaneous foreign port charges, international freight, marine insurance, U.S. customs brokerage, U.S. customs duty, harbor maintenance fees, merchandise processing fee, and U.S. inland freight expenses (freight from port to warehouse and freight from warehouse to the customer).

In accordance with section 772(d)(1) of the Act, for CEP sales we deducted from the starting price those selling expenses that were incurred in selling the subject merchandise in the United States, including commissions, direct selling expenses (credit costs, warranty expenses), and indirect selling expenses incurred by MIC in the United States. We also deducted from CEP an amount for profit in accordance with section 772(d)(3) of the Act.

Malee

For this POR, the Department found that all of Malee's U.S. sales were properly classified as CEP transactions because these sales were made in the United States by Malee's affiliated trading company Icon Foods.

CEP was based on packed ex-dock U.S. port price to unaffiliated purchasers in the United States. We made deductions from the starting price for discounts in accordance with 19 CFR 351.401(c). We also made deductions for foreign inland movement expenses, insurance and international freight in accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act. Because all of Malee's sales were CEP, in accordance with section 772(d)(1) of the Act, we deducted from the starting price those selling expenses associated with selling the subject merchandise in the United States, including direct selling expenses and indirect selling expenses incurred by Icon Foods in the United States. We also deducted from CEP an amount for profit in accordance with section 772(d)(3) of the Act.

PRAFT

We calculated an EP for all of Praft's sales because the merchandise was sold directly by Praft outside the United States to the first unaffiliated purchaser in the United States prior to importation, and CEP was not otherwise indicated. We calculated EP based on the packed, FOB price to unaffiliated purchasers for exportation to the United States. In accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act, we made deductions from the starting price for foreign movement expenses.

TROFCO

We calculated an EP for all of TROFCO's sales because the merchandise was sold directly by TROFCO outside the United States to the first unaffiliated purchaser in the United States prior to importation, and CEP was not otherwise indicated. We calculated EP based on the packed, FOB price to unaffiliated purchasers for exportation to the United States. In accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Act, we made deductions from the starting price for foreign movement expenses. Start Printed Page 48453

Normal Value

A. Selection of Comparison Markets

Based on a comparison of the aggregate quantity of home market sales and U.S. sales, we determined that, with the exception of Malee, the quantity of foreign like product each respondent sold in Thailand did not permit a proper comparison with the sales of the subject merchandise to the United States because the quantity of each company's sales in its home market was less than 5 percent of the quantity of its sales to the U.S. market. See section 773(a)(1) of the Act. Therefore, for all respondents except Malee, in accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act, we based NV on the price at which the foreign like product was first sold for consumption in each respondent's largest viable third-country market, i.e., Germany for Vita, TPC and PRAFT, France for SIFCO, the United Kingdom for SFP, Finland for TIPCO, Japan for TROFCO, and Canada for KFC. With respect to Malee, we based NV on the price at which the foreign like product was first sold for consumption in the home market.

B. Cost of Production Analysis

Pursuant to section 773(b)(1) of the Act, we initiated a cost of production (COP) investigation of comparison-market sales for each respondent. Based on timely allegations filed by the petitioners, we initiated COP investigations of KFC, TROFCO and SIFCO, to determine whether sales were made at prices below the COP. See Memoranda from Case Analysts to Holly Kuga, dated January 12, 2000. In addition, because we disregarded sales that failed the cost test in the last completed review of TIPCO, SFP, TPC, Malee, PRAFT and Vita, we had reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that sales by these companies of the foreign like product under consideration for the determination of NV in this review were made at prices below the COP, as provided by section 773(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act.

We conducted the COP analysis as described below.

1. Calculation of COP/Fruit Cost Allocation

In accordance with section 773(b)(3) of the Act, for each respondent, we calculated the weighted-average COP, by model, based on the sum of the costs of materials, fabrication, selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A), and packing costs. We relied on the submitted COPs except in the specific instances noted below, where the submitted costs were not appropriately quantified or valued.

The Department's long-standing practice, now codified at section 773(f)(1)(A) of the Act, is to rely on a company's normal books and records if such records are in accordance with home country generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and reasonably reflect the costs associated with production of the merchandise. In addition, as the statute indicates, the Department considers whether an accounting methodology, particularly an allocation methodology, has been historically used by the company. See section 773(f)(1)(A) of the Act. In previous segments of this proceeding, the Department has determined that joint production costs (i.e., pineapple and pineapple processing costs) cannot be reasonably allocated to canned pineapple on the basis of weight. See Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Canned Pineapple Fruit From Thailand, 60 FR 29553, 29561 (June 5, 1995), and Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Canned Pineapple Fruit From Thailand, 63 FR 7392, 7398 (February 13, 1998).[1] For instance, cores and shells are used in juice production, while trimmed and cored pineapple cylinders are used in CPF production. Because these various parts of a pineapple are not interchangeable when it comes to CPF versus juice production, it would be unreasonable to value all parts of the pineapple equally by using a weight-based allocation methodology. Several respondents that revised their fruit cost allocation methodologies during the 1995-96 POR changed from their historical net realizable value (NRV) methodology to weight-based methodologies and did not incorporate any measure of the qualitative factor of the different parts of the pineapple. As a result, such methodologies, although in conformity with Thai GAAP, do not reasonably reflect the costs associated with production of CPF. Therefore, for companies whose fruit cost allocation methodology is weight-based, we requested that they recalculate fruit costs allocated to CPF based on NRV methodology. Consistent with prior segments of this proceeding, the NRV methodology that we requested respondents to use was based on company-specific historical amounts for sales and separable costs during the five-year period of 1990 through 1994. We made this request of all companies in this review except for KFC, Praft and Malee. Because KFC, Praft and Malee already allocate fruit costs on a basis that reasonably takes into account qualitative differences between pineapple parts used in CPF versus juice products in their normal accounting records, we have not required KFC, Praft or Malee to recalculate their reported costs using the NRV methodology.

We made the following company-specific adjustments to the cost data submitted in this review.

SIFCO

In allocating fruit costs between solid products and juice, SIFCO used a ratio different from the historical NRV ratio relied upon in the second review. Because we rely upon historical values for the allocation of fruit costs, and in order to be consistent with past reviews, we recalculated SIFCO's fruit costs, allocating them based on the verified figures from the second review. Further, we recalculated G&A to exclude foreign exchange losses incurred on accounts receivable and applied the recalculated G&A to a COM inclusive of packing. For a further discussion of these adjustments to SIFCO's calculations, see SIFCO Calculation Memorandum, dated July 31, 2000.

SFP

SFP's reported fruit costs are based on NRV data for the 1990-1994 period used in previous reviews. Based on verification findings, we made changes to SFP's reported can costs, overhead, and SG&A. See Verification Report, dated July 14, 2000, for a more detailed discussion of these changes.

1. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices

As required under section 773(b) of the Act, we compared the adjusted weighted-average COP for each respondent to the comparison market sales of the foreign like product, in order to determine whether these sales had been made at prices below the COP within an extended period of time in substantial quantities, and whether such prices were sufficient to permit the recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time. On a product-specific basis, we compared the revised COP to the comparison market prices, less any applicable movement charges, taxes, rebates, commissions and other direct and indirect selling expenses.

Consistent with the third review, we have not deducted from the COP the value of certain tax certificate revenues. In the third review, we determined that Start Printed Page 48454the certificate is not tied to any duty drawback scheme, but rather, represents revenue paid to companies upon the export of domestically-produced merchandise. See Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Canned Pineapple Fruit From Thailand, 64 FR 69481, 69485 (December 13, 1999). Therefore, no adjustment was made to our dumping calculation for this payment.

2. Results of the COP Test

Pursuant to section 773(b)(2)(C) of the Act, where less than 20 percent of a respondent's sales of a given product were made at prices below the COP, we did not disregard any below-cost sales of that product because the below-cost sales were not made in “substantial quantities.” Where (1) 20 percent or more of a respondent's sales of a given product were made at prices below the COP and thus such sales were made within an extended period of time in substantial quantities in accordance with sections 773(b)(2) (B) and (C) of the Act, and (2) based on comparisons of price to weighted-average COPs for the POR, we determined that the below-cost sales of the product were at prices which would not permit recovery of all costs within a reasonable time period, in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(D) of the Act, we disregarded the below-cost sales.

We found that for certain CPF products, KFC, TIPCO, SFP, SIFCO, Malee and Vita made comparison-market sales at prices below the COP within an extended period of time in substantial quantities. Further, we found that these sales prices did not permit the recovery of costs within a reasonable period of time. We therefore excluded these sales from our analysis in accordance with section 773(b)(1) of the Act.

C. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices

We determined price-based NVs for each company as follows. For all respondents, we made adjustments for differences in packing in accordance with sections 773(a)(6)(A) and 773(a)(6)(B)(i) of the Act, and we deducted movement expenses consistent with section 773(a)(6)(B)(ii) of the Act. In addition, where applicable, we made adjustments for differences in cost attributable to differences in physical characteristics of the merchandise pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the Act, as well as for differences in circumstances of sale (COS) in accordance with section 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.410. We also made adjustments, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.410(e), for indirect selling expenses incurred on comparison market or U.S. sales where commissions were granted on sales in one market but not in the other (the “commission offset”). Specifically, where commissions were granted in the U.S. market but not in the comparison market, we made a downward adjustment to NV for the lesser of (1) the amount of the commission paid in the U.S. market, or (2) the amount of indirect selling expenses incurred in the comparison market. If commissions were granted in the comparison market but not in the U.S. market, we made an upward adjustment to normal value following the same methodology. Company-specific adjustments are described below.

TIPCO

We based third-country market prices on the packed, FOB prices to unaffiliated purchasers in Finland. We adjusted for the following movement expenses: brokerage and handling, port charges, stuffing expenses, liner expenses and foreign inland freight. We made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred for third-country market sales (commissions, credit expenses and bank charges) and adding U.S. direct selling expenses (commissions, credit expenses and bank charges).

PRAFT

We based third-country market prices on the packed FOB price to unaffiliated purchasers in Germany. We adjusted for foreign movement expenses. We made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred for third-country market sales including credit expenses and commissions and adding U.S. direct selling expenses including credit expenses and commissions.

SFP

We based third-country market prices on the packed, FOB or C&F prices to unaffiliated purchasers in the United Kingdom. We adjusted for foreign movement expenses and international freight. We made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred for third-country market sales (credit expenses, bank charges, warranties and commissions) and adding U.S. direct selling expenses (credit expenses and bank charges). We applied the commission offset in the manner described above.

Vita

We based third-country market prices on the packed, FOB or C&F prices to unaffiliated purchasers in Germany. We adjusted for foreign movement expenses and international freight. We made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred for third-country market sales (credit expenses, bank charges and commissions) and adding U.S. direct selling expenses (credit expenses, bank charges and commissions).

SIFCO

We based third-country market prices on the packed, FOB prices to unaffiliated purchasers in France. We adjusted for foreign movement expenses. We made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred for third-country market sales (credit expenses, bank charges and commissions) and adding U.S. direct selling expenses (credit expenses, bank charges and commissions).

TPC

We based third-country market prices on the packed, FOB or CNF prices to unaffiliated purchasers in Germany. We adjusted for foreign movement expenses and international freight. For comparisons to EP, we made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred for third-country market sales (credit expenses, letter of credit charges, and bank charges) and adding U.S. direct selling expenses (credit expenses, letter of credit charges, bank charges, and warranties). For comparisons to CEP, we made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred on third-country market sales and adding U.S. direct selling expenses other than those deducted from the starting price in calculating CEP pursuant to section 772(d) of the Act (i.e., we added expenses for letters of credit and bank charges incurred by TPC in Thailand). Where we compared U.S. sales that had no commission to comparison market sales with commissions, we applied the commission offset in the manner described above.

KFC

We based third-country market prices on the packed, FOB prices to unaffiliated purchasers in Canada. We adjusted for foreign movement expenses. We made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred for third-country market sales (credit expenses, bank charges and commissions) and adding U.S. direct selling expenses (credit expenses, bank charges and commissions). Start Printed Page 48455

Malee

We based home market prices on the packed, delivered prices to unaffiliated purchasers in Thailand. We adjusted for foreign inland freight. We made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred for home market sales (credit expenses, warranty expenses, advertising expenses and commissions) and adding U.S. direct selling expenses (credit expenses, bank charges and commissions).

TROFCO

We based third-country market prices on the packed, FOB prices to unaffiliated purchasers in Japan. We adjusted for foreign movement expenses. We made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred for third-country market sales (credit expenses, document fees, bank charges and commissions) and adding U.S. direct selling expenses (credit expenses, document fees, bank charges and commissions).

Calculation of Normal Value Based on Constructed Value

For those CPF products for which we could not determine the NV based on comparison market sales because there were no contemporaneous sales of a comparable product in the ordinary course of trade, we compared the EP or CEP to CV. In accordance with section 773(e) of the Act, we calculated CV based on the sum of the COM of the product sold in the United States, plus amounts for SG&A expenses, comparison market profit, and U.S. packing costs. We calculated each respondent's CV based on the methodology described in the “Calculation of COP” section of this notice, above. In accordance with section 773(e)(2)(A) of the Act, we used the actual amounts incurred and realized by each respondent in connection with the production and sale of the foreign like product, in the ordinary course of trade, for consumption in the foreign country to calculate SG&A expenses and comparison market profit.

For price-to-CV comparisons, we made adjustments to CV for COS differences, in accordance with section 773(a)(8) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.410. We made COS adjustments by deducting direct selling expenses incurred on comparison market sales and adding U.S. direct selling expenses.

Level of Trade

In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B) of the Act, to the extent practicable, we determine NV based on sales in the comparison market at the same level of trade as the EP or CEP transaction. The NV level of trade is that of the starting-price sales in the comparison market or, when NV is based on CV, that of the sales from which we derive SG&A expenses and profit. For EP sales, the U.S. level of trade is also the level of the starting-price sale, which is usually from exporter to importer. For CEP sales, it is the level of the constructed sale from the exporter to the importer.

The U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) has held that the Department's practice of determining level of trade for CEP transactions after CEP deductions is an impermissible interpretation of section 722(d) of the Act. See Borden, Inc. v. United States, 4 F. Supp. 2d 1221, 1241-42 (CIT March 26, 1998) (Borden II). The Department believes, however, that its practice is in full compliance with the statute. On June 4, 1999, the CIT entered final judgement in Borden II on the level-of-trade issue. See Borden, Inc. v. United States, Court No. 96-08-01970, Slip Op. 99-50 (CIT, June 4, 1999). The government has appealed Borden II to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Consequently, the Department has continued to follow its normal practice of adjusting CEP under section 772(d) of the Act prior to starting a level-of-trade analysis, as articulated in the Department's regulations at section 351.412.

To determine whether NV sales are at a different level of trade than EP or CEP transactions, we examine stages in the marketing process and selling functions along the chain of distribution between the producer and the unaffiliated customer. If the comparison-market sales are at a different level of trade, and the difference affects price comparability, as manifested in a pattern of consistent price differences between the sales on which NV is based and comparison-market sales at the level of trade of the export transaction, we make a level-of-trade adjustment under section 773(a)(7)(A) of the Act. Finally, for CEP sales, if the NV level is more remote from the factory than the CEP level and there is no basis for determining whether the difference in the levels between NV and CEP affects price comparability, we adjust NV under section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act (the CEP offset provision). See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from South Africa, 62 FR 61731 (November 19, 1997).

In implementing these principles in this review, we obtained information from each respondent about the marketing stage involved in the reported U.S. and comparison market sales, including a description of the selling activities performed by the respondents for each channel of distribution. In identifying levels of trade for EP and third-country market sales, we considered the selling functions reflected in the starting price before any adjustments. For CEP sales, we considered only the selling activities reflected in the price after the deduction of expenses and profit under section 772(d) of the Act. We expect that, if claimed levels of trade are the same, the functions and activities of the seller should be similar. Conversely, if a party claims that levels of trade are different for different groups of sales, the functions and activities of the seller should be dissimilar.

In this review, all respondents except Malee claimed that all of their sales involved identical selling functions, irrespective of channel of distribution or market. We examined these selling functions for Vita, SIFCO, SFP, TIPCO, PRAFT, TPC, TROFCO, and KFC, and found that sales activities were limited to negotiating sales prices, processing of purchase orders/contracts, invoicing, and collecting payment. There was little or no strategic and economic planning, advertising or sales promotion, technical services, technical assistance, or after-sale service performed in either market. Therefore, for all respondents except Malee, we have preliminarily found that there is an identical level of trade in the U.S. and relevant comparison market, and no level-of-trade adjustment is required for comparison of U.S. sales to third-country sales.

Malee reported that all of its sales made to the United States were to importer/distributors and involved minimal selling functions on the part of Malee. Malee claimed two different levels of trade for its sales in the home market: (1) Factory-direct sales involving minimal selling functions, and which are at a level of trade identical to the EP level of trade; and (2) sales through Malee Supply (1994) Co. Ltd. (Malee Supply), an affiliated reseller.

Malee made direct sales to hotels, restaurants and industrial users. Malee claimed that its only selling function on direct sales was delivery of the product to the customer. Malee reported numerous selling functions undertaken by Malee Supply for its resales to small wholesalers, retailers and end-users. In addition to maintaining inventory, Malee Supply also handled all advertising during the POR. The advertising was directed at the ultimate consumer. Malee also reported that Malee Supply replaces damaged or Start Printed Page 48456defective merchandise and, as necessary, breaks down packed cases into smaller lot sizes for many sales.

Our examination of the selling activities, selling expenses, and customer categories involved in these two channels of distribution indicates that they constitute separate levels of trade, and that the direct sales are made at the same level as Malee's U.S. sales. Accordingly, we matched Malee's U.S. sales to direct sales made in the home market. Because we were able to match all U.S. sales in this manner to sales made at the same level of trade, without resorting to home market sales made through the other level of trade, we did not reach the issue of whether a level-of-trade adjustment was appropriate under the facts of this case.

Preliminary Determination Not To Revoke Order

The Department may revoke an antidumping order in part if the Department concludes that: (1) One or more exporters or producers covered by the order have sold the merchandise at not less than NV for a period of at least three consecutive years, (2) it is unlikely that those persons will sell the subject merchandise at less than NV in the future; and (3) for any exporter or producer that the Secretary previously has determined to have sold the subject merchandise at less than NV, the exporter or producer agrees in writing to its immediate reinstatement in the order, as long as any exporter or producer is subject to the order, if the Secretary concludes that the exporter or producer, subsequent to the revocation, sold the subject merchandise at less than NV. See 19 CFR 351.222(b)(2).

The Department “may revoke, in whole or in part” an antidumping duty order upon completion of a review under section 751 of the Act. While Congress has not specified the procedures that the Department must follow in revoking an order, the Department has developed a procedure for revocation that is described in 19 CFR 351.222. This regulation requires, inter alia, that a company requesting revocation submit the following: (1) A certification that the company has sold the subject merchandise at not less than NV in the current review period and that the company will not sell at less than NV in the future; (2) a certification that the company sold the subject merchandise in commercial quantities in each of the three years forming the basis of the receipt of such a request; and (3) an agreement that the order will be reinstated if the company is subsequently found to be selling the subject merchandise at less than fair value. Id. at 351.222(e)(i) See, e.g., Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Determination Not to Revoke the Antidumping Duty Order: Brass Sheet and Strip From the Netherlands, 65 FR 742, 743 (January 6, 2000). On August 6, 1999, Malee provided the required certifications.

We have preliminarily determined a weighted-average margin of 1.72 percent for Malee in the current review period. Consequently, we preliminarily find that Malee does not qualify for revocation of the order under section 351.222(b) of the Department's regulations. Therefore, we have not addressed the issues of whether Malee shipped in commercial quantities or whether the continued application of the antidumping duty order is necessary to offset dumping with regard to Malee. However, should Malee's final weighted-average margin for this review be less than 0.50 percent, we will address those issues at that time. We note that information on the record indicates that Malee's aggregate sales to the United States were not made in commercial quantities during each of the three review periods that formed the basis of Malee's revocation request. See the July 31, 2000 memorandum to Holly Kuga: Determination Not to Revoke in Part the Antidumping Duty Order on Canned Pineapple Fruit from Thailand. Interested parties are invited to comment in their case briefs on all of the requirements that must be met by Malee under section 351.222 of the Department's regulations in order to qualify for revocation from the antidumping duty order.

Currency Conversion

We made currency conversions into U.S. dollars in accordance with section 773A of the Act, based on exchange rates in effect on the dates of the U.S. sales as certified by the Federal Reserve Bank.

Preliminary Results of Review

As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that the following weighted-average margins exist for the period July 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999:

Manufacturer/exporterMargin (percent)
Siam Food Products Company Ltd.0.38
The Thai Pineapple Public Company, Ltd.1.95
Kuiburi Fruit Canning Co. Ltd.1.63
Thai Pineapple Canning Industry4.69
Siam Fruit Canning (1988) Co. Ltd.3.01
Vita Food Factory (1989) Co. Ltd.5.19
The Prachuab Fruit Canning Company Ltd.2.16
Tropical Food Industries Co., Ltd.4.02
Malee Sampran Public Co., Ltd.2.52

We will disclose the calculations used in our analysis to parties to this proceeding within five days of the publication date of this notice. See 19 CFR 351.224(b). Any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication. See 19 CFR 351.310(c). If requested, a hearing will be held 44 days after the publication of this notice, or the first workday thereafter. Interested parties may submit case briefs within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than 37 days after the date of publication. Interested parties are invited to comment on the preliminary results. Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument and (3) a table of authorities. Further, we would appreciate it if parties submitting written comments would provide the Department with an additional copy of the public version of any such comments on a diskette. The Department will publish a notice of the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of its analysis of issues raised in any such written comments or hearing, within 120 days from publication of this notice.

Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.212(b), the Department calculated an assessment rate for each importer of subject merchandise. Upon completion of this review, the Department will instruct the U.S. Customs Service to assess antidumping duties on appropriate entries. We have calculated each importers' duty assessment rate based on the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for the examined sales to the total entered value of examined sales. The importer-specific rate will be assessed uniformly on all entries made during the POR.

Furthermore, the following deposit rates will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of CPF from Thailand entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by section 751(a)(1) of the Act; (1) The cash Start Printed Page 48457deposit rate for companies listed above will be the rate established in the final results of this review, except if the rate is less than 0.5 percent and, therefore, de minimis, the cash deposit will be zero; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less than fair value (LTFV) investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) if neither the exporter nor the manufacturer is a firm covered in this or any previous review or the LTFV investigation conducted by the Department, the cash deposit rate will be 24.64 percent, the “All Others” rate established in the LTFV investigation.

These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until publication of the final results of the next administrative review.

This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

Start Signature

Dated: July 31, 2000.

Richard W. Moreland,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  This determination was upheld by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Thai Pineapple Public Co. v. United States, 187 F. 3d 1362 (Fed. Cir. 1999).

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[FR Doc. 00-20031 Filed 8-7-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P