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Notice

Methionine From Spain: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Preliminary Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures

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AGENCY:

Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that methionine from Spain is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). Commerce also preliminarily determines that critical circumstances do not exist with respect to certain imports of subject merchandise. The period of investigation is July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

DATES:

Applicable March 4, 2021.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Elizabeth Bremer, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4987.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

This preliminary determination is made in accordance with section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Commerce initiated this LTFV investigation on August 18, 2020.[1] On December 14, 2020, Commerce postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation, and the revised deadline is now February 24, 2021.[2]

For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.[3] A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/​frn/​. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Scope of the Investigation

The product covered by this investigation is methionine from Spain. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

Scope Comments

In accordance with the preamble to Commerce's regulations,[4] the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope).[5] No interested parties commented on the scope of this investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice.[6] Commerce is not preliminarily modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. See the scope in Appendix I to this notice.

Methodology

Commerce is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Commerce has calculated constructed export prices in accordance with section 772(b) of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying the preliminary determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

Preliminary Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances

On January 26, 2021, the petitioner [7] timely filed a critical circumstances allegation, pursuant to section 733(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(1), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of the subject merchandise from Spain.

Section 733(e)(1) of the Act provides that Commerce will preliminarily determine that critical circumstances exist in an LTFV investigation if there is a reasonable basis to believe or suspect that: (A) There is a history of dumping and material injury by reason of dumped imports in the United States or elsewhere of the subject merchandise, or the person by whom, or for whose account, the merchandise was imported knew or should have known that the exporter was selling the subject merchandise at less than its fair value and that there was likely to be material injury by reason of such sales; and (B) there have been massive imports of the Start Printed Page 12615subject merchandise over a relatively short period.

In accordance with section 733(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, Commerce preliminarily finds that critical circumstances do not exist for Adisseo España, or for all other producers and exporters in Spain. For a full description of the methodology and results of Commerce's critical circumstances analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

All-Others Rate

Section 733(d)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act provides that in the preliminary determination Commerce shall determine an estimated weighted-average dumping margin for all other producers and exporters not individually examined. Pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act, this rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters or producers individually investigated, excluding estimated weighted-average dumping margins that are zero, de minimis, or determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(B) of the Act, if the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for all exporters and producers individually examined are zero, de minimis or determined based entirely on facts otherwise available, Commerce may use any reasonable method to establish the estimated weighted-average dumping margin for all other producers or exporters.

Commerce calculated an individual estimated weighted-average dumping margin for Adisseo España, the only individually examined company in this investigation. Because the only individually calculated estimated weighted-average dumping margin is not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, the estimated weighted-average dumping margin calculated for Adisseo España is the estimated weighted-average dumping margin assigned to all other producers and exporters, pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying Commerce's analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

Preliminary Determination

Commerce preliminarily determines that the following estimated weighted-average dumping margins exist:

Producer or exporterEstimated weighted- average dumping margin (percent)
Adisseo España S.A.31.98
All Others31.98

Suspension of Liquidation

In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, Commerce will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of entries of subject merchandise, as described in Appendix I, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

Further, pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), Commerce will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for Adisseo España will be equal to the company-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin determined in this preliminary determination; (2) if the exporter is not the respondent identified above, but the producer is, then the cash deposit rate will be equal to the company-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for that producer of the subject merchandise; and (3) the cash deposit rate for all other producers and exporters will be equal to the all-others estimated weighted-average dumping margin.

Section 733(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of: (a) The date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered; or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. As noted above, Commerce preliminarily finds that critical circumstances do not exist for imports of subject merchandise produced and exported by Adisseo España and all other exporters and producers from Spain. In accordance with section 733(e)(2)(A) of the Act, the suspension of liquidation preliminarily shall not apply to unliquidated entries of shipments of subject merchandise from Adisseo España and all other exporters and producers from Spain that were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice.

These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

Disclosure

Commerce intends to disclose its calculations and analysis performed to interested parties in this preliminary determination within five days of any public announcement or, if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

Verification

As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, Commerce intends to verify the information relied upon in making its final determination. Commerce is currently unable to conduct on-site verification of the information relied upon in making its final determination in this investigation. Accordingly, we intend to take additional steps in lieu of on-site verification. Commerce will notify interested parties of any additional documentation or information required.

Public Comment

Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. A timeline for the submission of case briefs and written comments will be announced at a later date. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in these case briefs, may be submitted no later than seven days after the deadline date for case briefs.[8] Commerce has modified certain of its requirements for serving documents containing business proprietary information until further notice.[9] Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this investigation are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, limited to issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the Start Printed Page 12616number of participants, whether any participant is a foreign national, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, Commerce intends to hold the hearing at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by the petitioner. Section 351.210(e)(2) of Commerce's regulations requires that a request by exporters for postponement of the final determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

On February 5, 2021, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(e), Adisseo España requested that Commerce postpone the final determination and that provisional measures be extended to a period not to exceed six months.[10] In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii), because: (1) The preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporter, Adisseo España, accounts for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, Commerce is postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, Commerce will make its final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.

International Trade Commission Notification

In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, Commerce will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its preliminary determination. If the final determination is affirmative, then the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after the final determination whether imports of methionine from Spain are materially injuring, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry.

Notification to Interested Parties

This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

Start Signature

Dated: February 24, 2021.

Christian Marsh,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

End Signature

Appendix I

Scope of the Investigation

The merchandise covered by this investigation is methionine and dl-Hydroxy analogue of dl-methionine, also known as 2-Hydroxy 4-(Methylthio) Butanoic acid (HMTBa), regardless of purity, particle size, grade, or physical form. Methionine has the chemical formula C5 H11 NO2 S, liquid HMTBa has the chemical formula C5 H10 O3 S, and dry HMTBa has the chemical formula (C5 H9 O3 S)2 Ca.

Subject merchandise also includes methionine processed in a third country including, but not limited to, refining, converting from liquid to dry or dry to liquid form, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of this investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the in-scope methionine or dl-Hydroxy analogue of dl-methionine.

The scope also includes methionine that is commingled (i.e., mixed or combined) with methionine from sources not subject to this investigation. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of this investigation.

Excluded from this investigation is United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) grade methionine. In order to qualify for this exclusion, USP grade methionine must meet or exceed all of the chemical, purity, performance, and labeling requirements of the United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary for USP grade methionine.

Methionine is currently classified under subheadings 2930.40.00.00 and 2930.90.46.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Methionine has the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry numbers 583-91-5, 4857-44-7, 59-51-8 and 922-50-9. While the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

Appendix II

List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum

I. Summary

II. Background

III. Period of Investigation

IV. Scope of the Investigation

V. Critical Circumstances

VI. Scope Comments

VII. Discussion of the Methodology

VIII. Currency Conversion

IX. Recommendation

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  See Methionine from France, Japan, and Spain: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 85 FR 52324 (August 25, 2020) (Initiation Notice).

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2.  See Methionine from France, Japan, and Spain: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 85 FR 80774 (December 14, 2020).

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3.  See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Methionine from Spain,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

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4.  See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

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5.  See Initiation Notic e, 85 FR at 52325.

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6.  Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd. and Sumitomo Chemical America, Inc (Sumitomo)'s September 8, 2020 scope comments pertain to the product characteristics, and not to the scope of the investigation. See Sumitomo's Letter, “Methionine from Japan; Product Characteristic Comments,” dated September 8, 2020 and filed on the administrative record of the instant investigation.

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7.  The petitioner is Novus International, Inc. (the petitioner).

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8.  See 19 CFR 351.309; and 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

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9.  See Temporary Rule Modifying AD/CVD Service Requirements Due to COVID-19; Extension of Effective Period, 85 FR 41363 (July 10, 2020).

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10.  See Adisseo España's Letter, “Methionine from Spain: Request for Postponement of Final Determination and Provisional Measures Period,” dated February 5, 2021.

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[FR Doc. 2021-04416 Filed 3-3-21; 8:45 am]

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