Argentina Minister tackles US counterpart Perdue on biodiesel export question

11 May 2018 |

Argentina’s agriculture minister Luis Etchevehere has held talks with his US counterpart, Sonny Purdue, to discuss issues including the duties imposed on Argentine biodiesel exports.

The bilateral meeting took place in Washington DC on May 7.

“We agreed to continue talking about this to see if we can reach an agreement. It is in our interest to resume exports of biodiesel. This is one of the issues in the agenda,” local newspaper La Nacion quoted Etchevehere as saying.

Gustavo Idigoras, a consultant with Argentinian biofuels lobby Carbio, recently told Energy Census that Argentina's government may petition the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to press for a resolution to the dispute.

The decision to penalise Argentina's biodiesel imports to the US will keep the key market closed to exporters of SME for a five-year period.

The National Biodiesel Board, a trade group representing US producers, had brought the case to the US Commerce Department in March 2017, claiming Argentine biodiesel imports were entering the US market at prices below the cost of production.

Following the US decision in November 2017 to impose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on Argentine biodiesel imports, the industry's substantial exports have targetted other homes, weighing on European biodiesel prices.

Argentine biofuels exports are expected to decline significantly this year, mainly due to these new duties, Idigoras previously said.

In 2017, Argentina exported a total of 1.2 million mt of biodiesel, according to figures from the Ministry of Energy, with the country exporting over 969,000 mt to the U.S market.

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