German renewable fuel producer Natural Energy West is to reduce its biodiesel output by 50%. According to Reuters, the company is making the cuts in response to surging biodiesel imports from Indonesia and Argentina to the EU.
Reuters reports that the company will cut output ‘immediately and for an indefinite period’. Natural Energy West produces around 240,000 tonnes of biodiesel a year from its plant in Marl.
It is the second biodiesel producer to reduce or cut production in recent weeks in response to the surge in imports. As Biofuels International reported in March, Archer Daniels Midland Company temporarily ceased production at its facility in Mainz.
Since 2013 a controversy has surrounded alleged dumping of Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel into the EU market. The trading bloc placed anti-dumping duties on imports from the two countries, but faced continued resistance, culminating in the European Court of Justice ordering the bloc to remove the duties in March of this year.
Natural Energy West, which is jointly owned by jointly owned by German cooperative AGRAVIS, agribusiness Bunge, France’s Diester International and German oilseeds crusher C. Thywissen, has made clear that ‘dumped’ biodiesel imports are the cause of the roll back in production.
“If the German government and the European Commission do nothing against the unfair trading practices undertaken by Argentina and Indonesia, the European (biodiesel) industry and the farming sector which supports it will face damage that threatens its existence,” Natural Energy West CEO Detlef Volz told Reuters.