EU biodiesel producers accuse US of price-fixing

The European Biodiesel Board says the US is fixing prices and dumping cheap biodiesel in Europe, according to ICIS news.

(Disclosure: I work for ICIS: About ICIS)

My friend Mark Watts, quotes the EBB as saying

“In most EU countries EEB member companies are experiencing dumping competition from B99 blends which are offered in the market as pure biodiesel with a substantial discount”.

These subsidies were in some cases thought to be above €150/tonne ($200/tonne).

The EBB continues in a letter to EU trade commissioner, Peter Mandleson

EU producers were being pushed out of business by price-setting, which has allowed large discounts on imports from the US

If this is true then European Biofuel producers face two difficulties. Firstly, the US Biodiesel industry is heavily subsidised in he US because of tax breaks, and it would be politically difficult to remove these.

Secondly, it is not illegal in the US for American firms to operate as cartels outside the US, if that’s what they’re doing. An amendment to the Sherman Act, called the Web-Pomerene act, makes it legal.

So, the European biodiesel industry will have to rely on political pressure from the European Union to sort the problem out.

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