German biodiesel producer Natural Energy West (NEW) has halved its biodiesel output due to surging imports of ‘unfairly priced’ Argentine and Indonesian biofuel into the EU.

The company slashed production at its 240,000 tonnes/year capacity plant in Marl, Germany, immediately for an indefinite period due to “dumped biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, which have been flooding the European market since the winter”, reported Reuters on 9 April.

NEW is jointly owned by German cooperative Agravis, agribusiness Bunge, France’s Diester International and German oilseeds crusher C Thywissen.

The company’s decision was part of the fallout from the EU removing its antidumping duties on Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel following World Trade Organization (WTO) and European Court of Justice decisions deeming the duties unjustified, said Reuters.

EU biodiesel producers have claimed that both Argentina and Indonesia are giving unfair state support to their biodiesel, which allows it to be sold at low prices in Europe.

“If the German government and the European Commission do nothing against the unfair trading practices undertaken by Argentina and Indonesia, the European industry, and the farming sector that supports it, will face damage that threatens its existence,” said NEW CEO Detlef Volz.

In March, US agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland said it was suspending biodiesel production at its German plant in Mainz, also due to increasing cheap foreign imports.

“Since September 2017, the European Union has seen an influx of imported biodiesel which has placed significant pressure on the local market, impacting profitability for European-based producers. With continued imports and increasingly poor margins, the company has taken the difficult decision to cut back production in the region,” ADM told Reuters at the time.