Negotiations between Argentina and US over biofuels stall: Carbio

4 May 2018 |

Negotiations between Argentina and the United States regarding US import taxes on Argentine biofuels imports are not making any progress, according to a consultant with Argentinian biofuels lobby Carbio.

Gustavo Idigoras told Energy Census that Argentine authorities had a meeting last month with a delegation of the United States headed by VP Mike Pence in Lima, Peru.

“There had no been any progress in the negotiations for local biofuel exports. We are not expecting to see any progress in this issue in the short term,” Idigoras said.

He also said that the Argentina government may petition the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in May to find a resolution to the dispute.

The decision by the US government to set anti-dumping and anti-subsidies duties on Argentine biodiesel imports will keep that key market closed for local exporters of SME for a five-year period.

The National Biodiesel Board, a trade group representing U.S. producers, had requested the government in March 2017 set these duties, claiming the Argentine biodiesel imports were coming into the U.S market below the cost of production.

Argentine biofuels exports are expected to fall nearly 60% this year to approximately 500,000 mt mainly due to these new duties, Idigoras previously said.

The figures are down from 1.2 million mt last year, mainly due to anti-dumping measures adopted by the U.S government.

In 2017, Argentina had exported over 969,000 mt of biofuel to the U.S market, according to data from the Energy Ministry.

In related news, the Energy Ministry announced increases in domestic biofuels prices. At the end of May, domestic biofuel will cost 18.22 pesos ($0.8281) per litre up compared to 17.95 pesos the previous month.

At the beginning of April, the government had set new prices for bioethanol. Corn-based bioethanol currently costs 13.16 pesos per litre while sugar-based bioethanol costs 16.16 pesos per litre. The Energy Ministry did not yet publish the new price for May.

In 2016, the national government had increased the required blend of bioethanol in gasoline to 12% from previous 10% Local producers have been urging the government to increase the required blend of bioethanol in gasoline to 15%.

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