A US decision to review tariffs imposed on Argentine biodiesel could mean a revival for the country’s exporters, the biodiesel chamber of Argentina says.
The US Department of Commerce (USDC) announced on 7 November that there was a “just cause” to review the taxes it applied earlier this year in February when it deemed that biodiesel imports from Argentina were sold in the country below fair value, Reuters said.
At the time, the USA was Argentina’s main market for biodiesel.
“This is a necessary and important first step,” said Victor Castro, executive director of the Argentine Chamber of Biofuels (CARBIO), whose members include biodiesel exporters Cargill Inc and Bunge Ltd.
“We are convinced that tariffs are a totally unfair measure and it is very important to be able to export to that [US] market,” he said, adding that due to low international trade, the production level in Argentine biodiesel plants had been low.
Argentina is a top producer of biodiesel and the country exported 1.65M tonnes of the fuel, worth US$1.224bn, in 2017, according to state statistics agency INDEC.
Between January and August of this year, Argentina exported almost 1.1M tonnes of biodiesel, 85% of which went to the EU. However, no biodiesel was exported in September and October, pending an EU decision on whether the country’s biodiesel is subsidised.
The EU cut import duties on Argentine biodiesel at the end of September 2017 after a World Trade Organization ruling in favour of Argentina. The European Biodiesel Board then launched a challenge and asked the EU for an investigation, with a final decision due in February.