HOUSTON (ICIS)--Argentina will regain access to the EU's biodiesel market within three weeks after its successful World Trade Organization (WTO) challenge to the region's anti-dumping duties on the fuel, EU member states agreed on Thursday.
The EU will by 28 September sharply lower the tariffs it has imposed on Argentine biodiesel for the past four years.
In November 2013, the EU set anti-dumping duties of 22-25.7% on imports of Argentine biodiesel.
Argentina had been the main supplier of biodiesel to the EU until then, according to the country’s foreign ministry.
However, the WTO upheld Argentina’s complaint in an appeal ruling in October 2016.
The major biodiesel exporter had called the EU measures protectionist and said they cost the country almost $1.6bn/year in lost sales.
The EU’s case was based on Argentina’s imposition of an export duty on the raw material, soybeans, which it argued allowed domestic producers to dump biodiesel at unfairly low prices.
In response to the WTO ruling, the European Commission proposed lowering the duties to 4.5-8.1%.
These lower duties will apply by the end of the month to exporters including the Argentine operations of Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus as well as Molinos Rio de la Plata.
The reduction of tariffs will come just weeks after the US, the destination of 90% of Argentina’s biodiesel exports, slapped countervailing duties of up to 64.17% on the fuel.
The South American country’s biodiesel producers said the duties would halt US-bound shipments.
Image above shows a biodiesel fuel pump. Source: FLPA/REX/Shutterstock