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MBIE’s interim report on European Import Threat

The MBIE head office on Stout Street, Wellington (the former Defence House)

In New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has released its Interim Report (Essential Facts and Conclusions) on the investigation into European dumping of frozen processed potato into the NZ market.

The report states there is dumping, but MBIE have deemed it not of material threat to the NZ industry or at a level requiring tariffs.

Potatoes NZ are reviewing the report this week and meeting with processors to determine next steps. PNZ have 10 days to submit further on their conclusions.

Next Steps:

  • Industry internal consultation with affected stakeholders
  • Submission to MBIE

Background Information:

The MBIE investigation was in response to the application from Potatoes NZ on 20th August 2020 regarding the threat to the NZ potato processing sector of increased dumped imports of surplus European frozen fries. The dumping and material threat to the New Zealand industry, combined with the effects of supply chain disruption caused by Covid-19, created an extraordinary situation that required investigation.

Globally, the disruption of supply chains, and particularly sales to hospitality, by virtue of COVID-19 restrictions, has led to huge surplus capacity of frozen fries in major production centres, in particular the European Union (EU). This has led to extraordinary surplus in frozen potato chips and processing tubers in the EU.

The concern for the NZ industry remains that along with the existing domestic impact of the pandemic crisis, any profiteering activity from overseas exporters, will in turn cause further damage to the New Zealand potato-growing and potato-processing industries.

NZ Potato Industry Fast Facts:

  • The NZ potato industry value is just over $1 billion dollars per annum
  • NZ processed potatoes account for 55% of NZ potato industry
  • value 85% of all fries eaten in NZ are NZ fries
  • 15% of fries consumed in NZ are imported
  • ½ NZ fries produced are exported = $100 million
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