Taxes and subsidies cut Biopetrol turnover

Biodiesel producer Biopetrol has announced a drop in turnover in the first half of 2009 of 50% since the equivalent period in 2008. The company blames increases taxed on biodiesel in Germany and a large volume of indirectly subsidised biodiesel from Argentina.

Biopetrol, which underwent major financial restructuring in April, announced that its turnover in the first half of 2009 had been €69.7 million, down from €139.8 million in the first half of 2008. Losses before interest and tax rose from €3.1 million to €13.7 million.

Biopetrol said that increased taxes from €0.15 to €0.21 a litre on biodiesel had brought a ‘collapse’ in prices of petrol station sales of green fuel. This was not compensated by the increase in the maximum permitted quantity of biodiesel in conventional diesel from 5% to 7%.

The company also complained that, after punitive taxes had been imposed on subsidised biodiesel imported from the US to protect German producers, much of it was being sold through Argentina, amounting to an indirect subsidy.

Germany’s biofuel industry said on Monday the company was working at only 20% capacity.

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