May 16, 2018 / 4:11 PM / 2 months ago

Bunge cuts biodiesel output in German refinery

HAMBURG, May 16 (Reuters) - U.S. agribusiness group Bunge said on Wednesday it was reducing biodiesel output at a German refinery, the latest in a series of production cuts in Germany following a surge of cheap imports of the green fuel into Europe.

Bunge expects to initially cut output at its Mannheim biodiesel plant by 50 percent in the second quarter of 2018, a Bunge spokeswoman said.

The plant has capacity to produce 120,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually.

“Afterwards we will review production periodically and adjust as necessary,” the spokeswoman said.

The production cut is another sign of problems in Europe’s biofuel industry after the EU in March removed duties on biodiesel imports Argentine and Indonesian producers following the end of legal proceedings at the European Court of Justice.

The EU’s removal of duties on low-price biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia created a surge in EU imports forcing European producers to cut production in coming months. EU producers say biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia gets unfair state support enabling it to be sold at low prices in Europe.

U.S. agribusiness group Archer Daniels Midland Co said in March it would suspend production at a major biodiesel plant in Germany because of increasing cheap imports.

In April, German renewable fuel producer Natural Energy West said it was reducing biodiesel output by 50 percent because of surging imports from Argentina and Indonesia. (Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Mark Potter)

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