September 27, 2017 / 3:49 PM / 10 months ago

EU producers confirm subsidy challenge on Argentine biodiesel

PARIS, Sept 27 (Reuters) - European biodiesel producers are preparing to launch an anti-subsidy complaint against Argentine biodiesel imports, following a decision by the European Union last week to significantly lower the anti-dumping duties for the country, they said on Wednesday.

The European Union was once Argentina’s biggest biodiesel market before the EU set anti-dumping duties in November 2013 of between 22 percent and 25.7 percent for Argentina producers.

Following a ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that these tariffs were unjust, the EU last week decided to lower them to between 4.5 and 8.1 percent.

“The subsidies mean that Argentinian exporters are able to sell biodiesel at a price that is lower than the cost of the raw materials alone in the EU. This is resulting in severe damage to the EU biodiesel industry and related economic activities,” the European Biodiesel Board (EBB) said in a statement.

The group of producers called for a fast-track imposition of high-level EU countervailing duties to prevent an influx of products from Argentina.

A lawyer for the EBB had told Reuters last week after the EU decision to lower the duties that the group was preparing a subsidy complaint.

The Argentine biodiesel industry, which had been the main supplier to the EU, believes it will now be able to sell the product in Europe again at a time when the United States has just set its own measures to restrict imports. (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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