EU May Renew U.S.-Biodiesel Tariffs

The European Union threatened to renew tariffs on biodiesel from the U.S. for another five years in a sign of persistent trade tensions over renewable energy, reports Bloomberg.

The EU said it would examine in two probes whether to re-impose the duties introduced in 2009 to counter alleged subsidies and price undercutting by U.S. exporters of biodiesel. The duties to counter subsidies are as much as 237 euros ($323) a metric ton and the levies to fight below-cost, or “dumped,” imports are up to 198 euros a ton, depending on the company. The exporters targeted include Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM), the world’s biggest corn processor, and Cargill Inc., the largest closely held U.S. company.

The inquiries will determine whether the expiry of the import taxes would be likely to lead to a “continuation or recurrence” of subsidization and dumping and of “injury” to EU producers, the European Commission, said June 10 in the Official Journal. The anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties were due to lapse June 11 and will now stay in place during the investigations, which can last as long as 15 months.

In a separate trans-Atlantic commercial dispute, the EU in 2013 imposed a five-year anti-dumping duty on U.S. bioethanol.

The investigations into whether to renew the duties stem from April 9 requests by the European Biodiesel Board on behalf of companies that account for more than a quarter of EU production of biodiesel, said the commission. The EBB represents producers including Germany’s Verbio AG (VBK) and Finland’s Neste Oil Oyj. (NES1V)