Argentine biodiesel firms optimistic on sliding-scale export tax

20 September 2012 21:58  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Argentine biodiesel sellers are optimistic over the announcement by President Cristina Fernandez that Argentina will apply a sliding-scale tax to its multibillion-dollar biodiesel exports, sellers in the region said on Thursday.

Producers of all sizes have asked for a sliding-scale tax that will be applied and updated every 15 days because of the constant movement in biodiesel prices, according to sellers.

Last month, Argentina raised its levy on biodiesel exports to 32% from about 20% in a bid to boost domestic supplies and help reduce costly fuel imports.

It was not immediately clear how the domestic price would be affected under the new scheme.

The global price for biodiesel has since plunged and has forced the government to come up with a more flexible tool, sellers in the region said.

The president did not say how the sliding scale would work or specify whether an upper limit on the tax would be set.

Small-scale producers have said the combined impact of higher export taxes and lower domestic prices would put many plants out of business.

The spot bid/offer range for September was unchanged amid a quiet market at $1,200-1,250/tonne  (€924-963/tonne) FOB (free on board) at the Argentine port of Rosario.

The South American country is the world's biggest exporter of biodiesel.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Leela Landress
+1 713 525 2653

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