The US Department of Commerce’s (DoC) International Trade Administration (ITA) has made a preliminary ruling that Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel was dumped into the US market at unfair prices.

For Argentina, the DoC calculated preliminary dumping rates of 54.36%-70.05%, while for Indonesia the calculated rate was 50.71%, the agency said in a 23 October statement.

Based on the determinations, the DoC said it would instruct the US Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from biodiesel importers based on the calculated rates.

Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) – which was the petitioner in the DoC investigation – said he was pleased with the preliminary findings.

“It is reassuring with each decision that the DoC is reviewing the data and facts at face value. The law is clear and violations of trade law shouldn’t be ignored at the expense of the livelihoods of thousands of Americans employed or affected by biodiesel,” Whitehead said in a statement.

Final determinations on the anti-dumping duties are due on 3 January 2018, with issuance of anti-dumping orders scheduled for 19 February in cases where the DoC determines dumping has taken place.

In 2016, Argentina exported 1.48M tonnes of biodiesel worth US$1.2bn into the USA, an increase of more than 123% in volume from the approximately 660,000 tonnes in 2015, the DoC said.

Indonesian exports to the USA in 2016 totalled at 370,969 tonnes, up 56% from 236,832 tonnes in 2015.

The NBB filed a petition with the DoC on 23 March, asking the agency to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on what it called unfair dumping of biodiesel into the USA by Argentina and Indonesia.