A European ethanol trade group has filed an appeal to extend the EU’s anti-dumping duty on US ethanol exports, which is set to expire in late February.

The appeal by industry group ePure, made according to World Trade Organization rules, was being evaluated by the European Commission to see if there were grounds to extend the duty that was coming to an end on 23 February, said Argus Media on 15 January.

Enacted in 2012 to defend domestic European producers’ market share, the duty was €62.3/tonne (US$76.44/tonne) or €49.47/m3 (US$60.66/m3), but imports from outside the EU also attracted €102/m3 (US$125/m3) in duties on denatured product and €192/m3 (US$235/m3) for undenatured product, bringing the total duty for US producers exporting fuel-grade ethanol to the EU to €151/m3 (US$185/m3) at the lowest.

Should the appeal be successful, the EU would extend the duty for an additional 18 months.

According to Argus Media, the removal of the anti-dumping duty was already priced in the European ethanol curve and, as such, arbitrage from the USA to Europe would remain closed and imports from the USA unlikely, should the appeal be unsuccessful.

Forward prices were not expected to increase much in the case of duty extension as the market remained oversupplied in 2018.

A trader also told the news outlet that even if the duty was removed, forward prices were likely to drop slightly to ensure arbitrage remained closed.