Buenos Aires Times

economy BIODIESEL DISPUTE

Government strikes deal to restart biodiesel exports to EU

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that the agreement was reached after the government and the Argentine biofuels chamber offered a "commitment on prices and volumes to allow the relaunching of exports."

Wednesday 30 January, 2019
Biodiesel fuel containers.
Biodiesel fuel containers. Foto:SHUTTERSTOCK.

The government says it has struck a deal with the European Union to export biodiesel again to the EU, re-opening a market worth an estimated US$1 billion.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that the agreement was reached after the government and the Argentine Chamber of Biofuels (CARBIO) offered a "commitment on prices and volumes to allow the relaunching of exports."

According to Noticias Argentinas, the fuel will be sold at a minimum price to be fixed jointly by Argentine exporters and EU officials.

The ministry said the deal was majority approved Wednesday by the EU commission that oversees trade in the 28-member European bloc, the EU Trade Practices Commission. It also said the commission had recommended imposing anti-subsidy duties on Argentine biodiesel imports of between 25 and 33.4 percent.

Members of the local biofuels industry celebrated the announcement and confirmed that in exchange the EU will also impose reduced tariffs on local biodiesel because it still considers the fuel to be subsidised.

CARBIO hailed the news, saying "the European countries ratified the decision to conclude the negotiations and implement the price and volume agreement in February."

"Argentine industry celebrates the approval of the agreement, because it is the only way to achieve a return to export to the European Union," said CARBIO's President Luis Zubizarreta. 

The EU first imposed anti-dumping duties back in 2013, which were subsequently challenged by the Argentine government, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as well as CARBIO and its members in the European Court of Justice.

- TIMES/AFP/AP/NA

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