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EU hits Argentina, Indonesia with biodiesel duties

Update: November, 22/2013 - 11:47

BRUSSELS – The European Commission imposed on Thursday punitive anti-dumping duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia so as to protect home producers.

EU member states agreed the move Monday, which keeps the bloc open to Argentine and Indonesian production while refusing to remain "idle and tolerate structural" distortions, EU Trade spokesman John Clancy said.

"Now we can be reassured that our green energy sector is not under threat and will continue developing," Clancy added in a statement.

The duties – an average 24.6 per cent for Argentina and 18.9 per cent for Indonesia – were fixed below the actual dumping margin but will still be "sufficient to offset the injury suffered by the industry," the Commission statement said.

The anti-dumping duties are valid for five years from November 27. Biodiesel industry representatives in Argentina, the world's top producer, denounced the move as "a completely arbitrary measure."

The head of Argentina's biocarburant industry group (CARBIO), Luis Zubizarreta, said "not only does it show prejudice against our industry which is efficient and competitive, with attractive prices, but it will make Europeans have to pay more for their diesel," he said.

Buenos Aires last month had threatened to file a complaint with the World Trade Organisation if the EU went ahead and imposed the duties.

The Commission had already imposed temporary duties in May. Before that, the EU accounted for 90 per cent of Argentinian biodiesel exports but the measures have already led to a sharp fall.

Argentina made 2.5 million tonnes of biodiesel worth $1.8 billion in 2012, largely from its soya bean crop. Some 1.6 million tonnes were exported.

Trouble for the Argentinian biodiesel sector began in 2012 when Spain put in place measures to limit imports after the Argentinian government took over the stake in national oil company YPF owned by Spanish oil giant Repsol.AFP

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