US trade commission paves way for antidumping duties on biodiesel

4 Apr 2018 | Juan Pedro Tomas

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has determined that imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia materially harmed US producers.

According to the US Commerce Department, biodiesel from these two markets are sold in the US below market prices, and will issue antidumping duty orders on imports from Argentina and Indonesia. The duties will be effective for five years.

The antidumping case was filed by the National Biodiesel Board and 15 member companies.

The NBB said that the decision by the USITC was the last remaining procedural hurdle to final antidumping orders, which are likely to be issued later this month.

“This vote today finalises the case to address the harm that unfair trade practices have had on the US biodiesel industry,” said Donnell Rehagen, the board's chief executive.

The Argentine government will wait for the Commerce Department to issue the antidumping orders before evaluating alternative strategies, a government source told Agricensus.

Last month, the US government calculated final dumping rates ranging from 60.4% to 86.4% for Argentine producers, and 92.5% to 276.6% for Indonesian producers.

With the anti-dumping and anti-subsidies duties, it will be virtually impossible for biodiesel exporters from these two countries to sell into the US.

There will be combined rates of up to 159% on the Argentine fuel, which is made out of corn and sugar cane, and up to 341% on Indonesian variety, drawn from palm oil.

In 2016, imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia were valued at an estimated $1.2 billion and $268 million.

Argentine biodiesel exports to the US market in 2017 totalled $725.8 million, according to data from Argentina’s Energy Ministry.

Earlier this year, the European Commission launched a new investigation into whether Argentine biodiesel exporters benefit from unfair subsidies. If the EC finally sets anti-dumping and anti-subsidies duties, the EU market would be also closed for Argentine biodiesel exports for a five-year period.