Europe request to expand US biodiesel tariff draws mixed response

01 December 2009 20:32  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Participants in the European biodiesel market said on Tuesday they welcomed a trade group's request to expand a tariff on US biodiesel, although others said it could have little effect.

The European Biodiesel Board (EBB) said it would ask the European Commission to expand its duties on US biodiesel imports to cover blends below the tariff’s current 20% threshold.

“It will take some time if it comes through,” a European producer said, adding that the original tariff spent about half a year in the pipeline. “If it does, this will be a good thing for European producers and will help remarket their product at higher prices.”

However, some market participants were not convinced that such a measure would make a huge impact. Data was sketchy about how much biodiesel comes to the EU from the US in blends below 20%, but some market participants said it is not a substantial amount.  

“The quantities coming to Europe in this way are not enormous,” a trader said. “It might have a certain effect on prices and improve the margins of European producers slightly, but I don’t think it will have a big impact on the general market.”

The EBB plans to file a complaint with the Europe Commission, accusing US biodiesel suppliers of skirting tariffs put in place earlier this year.

In March, the European Commission implemented anti-dumping and countervailing duties of €213-409/tonne ($318-610/tonne) on US biodiesel imports of B20 (20% biodiesel, 80% mineral diesel) or higher after the EBB protested a $1/gal blending tax credit enjoyed by US producers, claiming this to be an unfair advantage.

“We are quite confident that the complaint will be successful and fully trust the commission to investigate as efficiently as the last time,” said Amadine Lacourt, a spokeswoman for the biodiesel board.

($1 = €0.67)

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By: Staff Reporter
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