* EU cannot find evidence of dumped prices or active subsidy
* U.S. ending subsidy has made investigation moot
By Ethan Bilby
BRUSSELS, Oct 5 The European Union has closed
investigations into whether the United States illegally
subsidised and dumped bioethanol on the European market, finding
no evidence of such moves, according to documents seen by
The European Commission opened a case last November and in
August began registering U.S. imports.
A document on the anti-subsidy proceedings seen by Reuters
said because the United States had stopped the main subsidy
scheme, the Commission had decided that any retaliatory measures
"would not be appropriate at this stage".
"No more measures shall be imposed if the subsidy or
subsidies have been withdrawn or it has been demonstrated that
the subsidies no longer confer any benefit on the exporters
A source familiar with the case said that this meant the
case would be dropped entirely unless the United States
reintroduced the ethanol blender's tax credit over the next six
EU trade spokesman John Clancy said, "The investigations in
both cases are still on-going and so no conclusions have been
U.S. companies, including CHS Inc., Patriot
Renewable Fuels, and Valero Renewable Fuels
export bioethanol to Europe.
The European Union used about 4.3 million tonnes of
bioethanol in the year to October 2011, with about 20 percent
imported from the United States, according to figures in the
The United States allowed a bioethanol blending subsidy to
expire in 2012 after years of criticism by environmental and
The ethanol excise tax credit was a $0.45 credit applied to
every gallon of corn ethanol blended with gasoline.
It totalled roughly $6 billion annually and cost taxpayers
$30.5 billion over its lifetime, according to data cited by
Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn.
Any kind of subsidy to the bioethanol industry has generated
extra controversy this year in the United States because record
high grain (maize) prices caused by drought have raised concerns
about the extent of bioethanol use.
Last November, the European Commission opened both an
anti-subsidy and anti-dumping investigation.
Also dismissing the anti-dumping case, a separate document
said there had not been enough data to establish at this stage
whether U.S. exports of bioethanol had been "made at dumped
The registration of bioethanol shipments begun in August was
to protect against a possible reinstatement of the U.S.
bioethanol tax credit.