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EU prepared to accept deal with Argentine biodiesel producers

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According to Reuters the European Commission is prepared to accept a deal with Argentine biodiesel producers in order to settle the long running trade dispute over imports into Europe.

Reuters reports that The European Commission said that last week it had communicated to interested parties that it was prepared to accept undertakings from biofuel producers. And that they would then sell at a minimum price.

A Commission spokesperson told Reuters via email, “This would exclude these producers from possible anti-subsidy duties to be imposed by the European Commission, while restoring the level playing field for European producers.”

The Commission have given those interested parties until the 18th of January to comment on the proposal. EU countries are to be consulted on the 30th of January.

Reuters has stated that the Commission has proposed duties of between 25.0 and 33.4% for Argentine biodiesel, depending on the companies. Luis Zubizarreta, president of the Argentine Chamber of Biofuels (CARBIO) told Reuters, “We would be willing to settle for a minimum value. There is a good dialogue with the EU and it seems like to way to benefit everyone.”  

Following a request by EU producers of fuels made from vegetable and recycled oil, the Commission began investigating Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel imports in 2012. The EU case was centred on export duties that both countries impose on the raw material used for biofuel production, soybeans for Argentina and palm oil for Indonesia. Reuters report that the EU believed that this gave an ‘unfair’ advantage to biodiesel producers as the low duties allowed the countries to sell at ‘unfairly’ low prices.

Anti-dumping duties were imposed in 2013 but were mostly removed in 2018 after successful challenges at the World Trade Organisation and the European Court of Justice.