Brazil's orange juice producers have been accused of dumping orange juice in the US market.

The US Commerce Department said on Monday (9 January) that at least three Brazilian orange juice exporters were dumping orange juice at prices ranging up to 60% below fair market value.

In a statement on Tuesday, Brazil's Foreign Ministry warned that it would take the "necessary measures" against the US, if Washington's final decision on the matter did not follow international trade rules set by the World Trade Organisation.

"The Brazilian government and the private sector will closely evaluate the process and the conditions adopted in the investigation of Brazil's alleged dumping of orange juice in the US," the statement said.

Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires, Ademarval Garcia, the president of Brazil's Citrus Exporters Association, said: "We'll wait and see what we read in the ITC (US International Trade Commission) report before we go on the defensive." The ITC is expected to issue its decision on 21 February.

Brazil has been in dispute with the state of Florida since 2002, when the state added a tax on top of national import tariffs for Brazilian orange juice importers. Washington forced Florida to remove the tax in May 2004.

Earlier this month, the Florida Citrus Mutual Grower Organisation said that Brazilian processors had been dumping during the past year for less than they charge their European customers and below production costs.