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EU plans stiff duties on biodiesel

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(BRUSSELS) - The EU plans to impose stiff taxes on Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel imports for alleged trade dumping, industry players said on Friday.

According to Argentinian companies the Commission will seek to apply a permanent duty of 22 to 25 percent on Argentinian biodiesel from the beginning of 2014.

In May, the European Commission imposed temporary import duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, saying they were being dumped below cost on the European market.

The European Biodiesel Board, which represents most European companies active in the sector, said the proposed permanent duties would mean a tax of 215 to 250 euros ($292-340) per tonne on Argentinian biodiesel imports and 120 to 180 euros on Indonesian biodiesel.

The Commission declined to confirm the figures.

It said concerned parties had two more weeks to make comments before the proposals are submitted to EU member states, which should decide by November 28 on the duties.

European companies have welcomed the efforts to protect their sector, but Argentinian producers said in a statement Friday the duties "will be prohibitive ... and close the doors to the European market".

The EU accounts for 90 percent of Argentinian biodiesel exports.

Argentina is the world's top biodiesel producer, making 2.5 million tonnes worth $1.8 billion in 2012. Some 1.6 million tonnes were exported.

Trouble for the Argentinian biodiesel sector began in 2012 when Spain put in place measures to limit imports after the Argentinian government nationalised a stake of YPF oil company owned by Spanish oil giant Repsol.


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