US biodiesel mandate does little to offset anti-dumping duties

09 December 2009 23:00  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds detail in paragraph 6 to add clarity)

MIAMI (ICIS news)--The US biodiesel mandate will offer only partial relief to the industry, which has been crippled with duties levied by its former primary market, the EU, a government economist said on Wednesday.

Before levying anti-dumping duties, the EU accounted for 95% of the exports from the US biodiesel industry, said Michael Dwyer, chief economist and director of global trade and biofuels analysis at the Foreign Agricultural Service, part of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Dwyer was speaking to the CMAI World Methanol Conference.

The US mandate stipulates that 870m gal (3.29bn litres) of biodiesel must be in use by 2010, yet the US industry has the capacity to produce more than 2.5bn gal.

The effect of the EU duties have caused US production to fall from roughly 800m gal to less than 500m gal. Bankruptcy filings have become an almost daily occurrence in the US biodiesel industry, Dwyer said.

In addition to the duties, the recent EU renewable energy directive favours other biodiesel varieties over soy-based types, he said.

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By: Ross Yeo
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