U.S. biofuel groups will fight EU tariff

Author: Mike Williams | Posted: 2/22/2013

The European Commission (EC) is officially imposing a $83.03 per metric ton tariff on U.S. ethanol entering the European Union (EU), drawing a vow from U.S. biofuel groups to fight the levy. In a joint statement, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said the tariff "is outrageous and based on absolutely no facts or evidence of harm. An extensive investigation was conducted and there was no proof to substantiate the European Union’s protectionist claims of dumping.

"Imposing a country wide anti-dumping tariff is unprecedented and unfounded. This is blatant protectionism at its worst. This is absolutely not the final chapter. We will challenge this policy in every manner possible." The punitive tariff had been sought by ePure, the European trade group representing ethanol producers there.

In the decision earlier this week, the commission said European biofuel manufacturers suffered “material injury” as a result of dumped imports from the United States in 2010-2011. The U.S. share of the European ethanol market grew from just less than 2 percent in 2008 to 15.7 percent in September 2011.

The U.S. industry has long denied charges of dumping below-price ethanol into the European market, noting that government subsidies for the biofuel ended at the close of 2011. Reuters quoted a U.S. trade official as saying the Obama administration "is disappointed with this move by the EU." The official said the U.S. "continues to have serious concerns about a number of procedural and methodological irregularities that took place during the final stages of the investigation."

The tariff, which comes at a time when a number of U.S. plants have gone offline because of high corn prices or availability restricted by the drought, applies only to U.S. ethanol used for fuel and will be imposed after the notice is published in the EU's Official Journal by Feb. 25.

Source: 25'x25 Weekly Newsletter