By JONATHAN STEARNS
The European Union imposed five-year tariffs on biodiesel
from Argentina and Indonesia, expanding renewable-energy
trade barriers after similar EU import levies against the US.
The duties punish Argentinian and Indonesian exporters of
biodiesel, a type of biofuel made from vegetable oils and
animal fats for use in diesel engines, for allegedly selling
it in the EU below cost, a practice known as dumping.
Molinos Rio de la Plata SA, Aceitera General Deheza SA and
Pelita Agung Agrindustri are among the companies targeted by
the levies as high as 245.67 euros ($332.05) per metric ton,
EU producers including Verbio AG in Germany, Diester
Industrie SAS in France and Novaol Srl in Italy suffered
material injury as a result of dumped imports
from Argentina and Indonesia, the 28-nation bloc said today
in Brussels. The five-year duties are more than twice as high
as provisional levies imposed in May and will take effect
after publication in the EU Official Journal by Nov. 28.
The anti-dumping duties to curb competition for European
biodiesel producers in their 12 billion-euro home market
highlight tensions accompanying EU efforts to increase the
use of biofuels, a renewable energy from crops such as
rapeseed, corn, wheat and sugar, amid a crackdown on fossil
fuels blamed for global warming. Ethanol is another kind of
The EU decided in 2008 to require at least 10% of
land-transport energy in each member country to come from
renewable sources led by biofuels beginning in 2020. This is
part of a goal of more than doubling the total share of
renewable energy in the EU to an average 20%.
In 2009, the EU hit the US with five-year anti-dumping duties
on biodiesel. The bloc also applied separate anti-subsidy
levies on American manufacturers such as
Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. and Cargill Inc. The import taxes
brought $1 billion a year of trade to a halt.
Argentinian and Indonesian exporters increased their combined
share of the EU biodiesel market to 19.3% in the 12 months
through June 2012 from 9.1% in 2009, according to the bloc.
Indonesian exporters gained ground at a faster pace, raising
their European market share to 8.5% from 1.4% over the
period, according to the EU.
The duties are the outcome of an inquiry that the EU opened
in August 2012 after a dumping complaint by the European
Biodiesel Board on behalf of manufacturers that account for
more than 60% of EU production of biodiesel.
The five-year duties against Argentina range from 216.64
euros/ton on Aceitera General Deheza to 245.67 euros/ton on
exporters including Molinos Rio de la Plata. That compares to
provisional levies from 65.24 euros/ton on Molinos Rio de la
Plata to 104.92 euros/ton on exporters including Aceitera
Depending on the company, the five-year levies against
Indonesia range from 76.94 euros/ton to 178.85 euros/ton.
That compares to provisional duties from 24.99 euros/ton to
83.84 euros/ton. One Indonesian exporter, Ciliandra Perkasa
PT, had a zero provisional duty rate and faces a five-year
levy of 76.94 euros/ton.
The EU is also threatening to impose separate anti-subsidy
duties on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. The bloc
began a probe in November 2012 into possible trade-distorting
government aid for Argentinian and Indonesian exporters and
is due to decide by Dec. 10 on any five-year levies to
counter subsidies. No provisional anti-subsidy duties have
been imposed against the two countries.