WASHINGTON, July 5, 2017 - Dumped and subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina continue unabated, according to new data cited by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition. The coalition filed petitions in March with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging the increased volume of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia have shrunk market share for U.S. manufacturers and injured U.S. producers.
NBB says a business intelligence company reported that Argentinian biodiesel exports reached a five-month high in April, all of which was shipped to the U.S. Even higher volumes are expected for the June report. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), monthly volumes of imports should be well above those seen in the first quarter of 2017, which ranged from 6 million to 23 million gallons. Worsening the situation for U.S. producers, Argentina reduced biodiesel export taxes following the NBB petitions and then lifted those taxes last month, leading to an increase in shipments.
“We’ve received information of potentially 75 million gallons of biodiesel flooding our ports soon – a significant increase from the import levels we saw in January, February and March. We filed the petition to level the playing field for U.S. producers, and the NBB Fair Trade Coalition will use every legal tool available to address these unfairly traded imports,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at NBB.
The Commerce Department is expected to announce its preliminary determinations regarding the estimated rates of subsidization and dumping on or about Aug. 22 and Oct. 20, respectively.
Numerous subsidy programs have been adopted in Argentina. The country’s biodiesel producers have become dominant exporters and taken an increasingly greater share of the U.S. market through dumped prices, NBB says. As a result, U.S. producers have backed off on investments in the growing biodiesel market.