The Mexican government yesterday [Wednesday] rejected a second appeal from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to reduce anti-dumping duties on fructose imports.

ADM, a major US processor of cocoa, corn, soybeans and wheat, has been combating anti-dumping tariffs on High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in Mexico for more than two years, but the Mexican government rejected this latest appeal as "groundless".

Importers of HFCS, which also include Corn Products International and Cargill Inc., have to swallow duties of US$53.37-175.50 per tonne, depending on the grade of sweetener.

The tariffs were imposed in 1998 and were last year ruled illegal by panels of the WTO and NAFTA. Nevertheless, they are still being upheld.

The governments of Mexico and the US are engaged in a trade war over these corn syrup imports and quotas for Mexican exports of sugar to the US.

The Reuters news agency claims that sources on both sides believe a high-level deal is in the pipeline that would allow more Mexican sugar in to the US in exchange for a relaxing of duties on US corn sweetener