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EBB urges EU to adopt high provisional anti-subsidy duties on Argentinean biodiesel imports

Ahead of the European Trade Defence Instruments (TDI) meeting on October 3, the European Biodiesel Board (EBB) has called on Member States' representatives and the European Commission to adopt high provisional anti-subsidy duties on Argentinean biodiesel imports to avoid potentially "catastrophic consequences" for the EU green economy, European agriculture, and jobs.

Rapeseed flower – European rapeseed is a primary feedstock for European biodiesel producers.

According to the European Biodiesel Board (EBB), the Commission investigation has found evidence that the Argentinean Differential Taxes (DETs) mechanism is a “price distortive and an unfair subsidization practice.” Furthermore, that it has also demonstrated the existence of an injury to the European biodiesel industry, with the EU biodiesel market “literally flooded by unfair Argentinean exports and huge consequential economic damages” for EU industry, farmers and employment.

However, EBB says that the Commission proposal is not to set a provisional duty but to wait for more time, in order to “clear all doubts” that a potential duty will serve EU interests. EBB is making it clear that if no provisional duties are fixed within the next few days, the EU biodiesel industry will again be severely impacted by unfair trade flows, with potentially “catastrophic consequences” for the EU green economy, European agriculture, and jobs.

While the Commission is also proposing to drop the existing Anti-Dumping duties against biodiesel imports from Argentina, EBB maintains that it is already impossible for EU biodiesel producers to compete with Argentinean exports that, EBB says, are sold in Europe at “unfairly low prices” and even lower than the cost of biodiesel raw materials – which is, per se, a clear proof of unfair trade practice.

Although a registration of all unfair imports from Argentina has been set since last June, Argentinean exporters “seem so confident” that the EU authorities will not make full use of EU Trade Defence Instruments (TDI), that they are “braving all risks” of retroactive duties.

On the contrary, EBB suggests that Argentine producers have accelerated their trade flows towards the EU, reaching a historic peak with almost 250 000 tonnes last July, representing 25 percent of the EU biodiesel market. Against this background, a number of EU biodiesel producers have stopped production and others have gone out of business. Therefore, EBB says, the industry cannot wait any longer for provisional duties and the “protection they deserve” from the EU.

It is difficult to understand how the Commission would need more time to verify the EU interest of setting high provisional duties against Argentina while in the absence of such duties a whole path of EU green economy, agriculture and jobs is going to collapse, said Raffaello Garofalo, Secretary-General, EBB.

According to Garofalo, the Commission investigation has “demonstrated all evidence about the unfair nature and huge distortions created by Argentinean of DETs export subsidies. It has even shown that a provisional duty higher than 30 percent is ready to be applied.”

Consequently, the EU biodiesel industry urges the Commission and Member States to agree at tomorrow’s TDI meeting on the absolute and immediate need to set by this month a high provisional duties against unfair biodiesel from Argentina, concluded Garofalo.

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