EU to impose punitive duties on Argentina and Indonesia
January 02, 2014
EU member states voted on 23 October to impose five-year punitive duties on biodiesel imported from Argentina and Indonesia, backing the European Commission (EC)’s view that producers in the two countries are dumping or selling biodiesel at below a fair market or cost price.
EU member states voted on 23 October to impose five-year punitive duties on biodiesel imported from Argentina and Indonesia, backing the European Commission (EC)’s view that producers in the two countries are dumping or selling biodiesel at below a fair market or cost price. Duties of between E217-246/tonne (25.7%) on imports from Argentina and E122-179/tonne (18.9%) on Indonesian imports have been proposed by the EC, the result of an inquiry the EU opened in August 2012 after a dumping complaint by the European Biodiesel Board (EBB).
Imports were already subject to provisional tariffs, imposed in May, of 6.8–10.6% for Argentina and 2.8–9.6% for Indonesia (see OFI, Biofuel News, July 2013). The new higher definitive duties were due to take effect after publication in the EU Official Journal by 28 November. Argentina is the world's biggest biodiesel exporter and, since 2010, the two countries have accounted for more than 90% of European biodiesel imports, according to the EBB.
The duties are to be imposed on companies in Argentina such as Bunge Ltd (E217/tonne) and Louis Dreyfus Commodities (E239/tonne), Aceitera General Deheza (E216.64/tonne) and Molinos Rio de la Plata (E245.67/tonne). Argentina's Biofuels Chamber, Carbio, has said the duties would cost Argentina more than US$1bn in lost sales to the EU.
"Finally this unjust measure, which arises from an erroneous calculation, becomes definitive,” Carbio president Luis Zubizarreta told Reuters.
Zubizarreta said in order to calculate the cost of producing the biofuel, the EU incorrectly used international prices for soya oil, the main ingredient for the biodiesel in Argentina, instead of using local prices, which were much lower.
About 90% of Indonesia's biodiesel exports of 1.5M kl last year went to the EU, according to Reuters.
Indonesian trade ministry official Oke Nurwan told Reuters that the government would help Indonesia's biodiesel companies appeal against the duties.
"The Indonesian producers will appeal to the European Court. If they fail to get fair treatment at the Court, then we will take the case to the WTO."
- Argentina plans to take legal action against Spain for excluding its biodiesel producers from a list of exporters receiving import quotas, reported Platts on 15 November. Foreign minister Hector Timerman said in a statement that Argentina would “move forward with measures” in multilateral trade courts.
Spain started restricting Argentinian biodiesel imports in 2012 after Argentina renationalised Spanish oil company YPF.