Growing imports of cheap Argentine biodiesel into Europe are replacing U.S. imports hit by European Union anti-dumping duties in March, Swiss-German biodiesel producer Biopetrol (B2I.DE: Quote) said on Thursday.
â€Increasing amounts of indirectly-subsidised biodiesel have been coming to Europe from Argentina since the second quarter,â€ Biopetrol said in its first half 2009 results. â€œThe EU and the German government are once again called upon to act quickly to give European biodiesel producers the same protection against subsidised imports as in the case of B99 (biodiesel) from the U.S.â€
Biopetrol said.In March, the EU said it would impose punitive duties on imports of biodiesel from the U.S. while an investigation is held into allegations that the U.S. green fuel is sold cheaply in Europe with the help of subsidies.â€Biodiesel prices continued to be under heavy pressure, because large inventories of highly subsidised American B99 that had been established in Europe were still being sold on the market,â€ Biopetrol said.The company, which in April underwent major financial restructuring, on Thursday posted a dramatic fall in first half 2009 turnover of about 50 per cent to 69.7 million euros from 139.8 million euros in the first half of 2008. Losses before interest and tax (Ebit) rose to 13.7 million euros from a loss of 3.1 million euros in the same time in 2008.
Increased taxes on biodiesel imposed by the German government had brought a â€œcollapseâ€ in petrol station sales of the green fuel in the first half, Biopetrol said.â€This could not even be remotely compensated for by Germany increasing maximum-permitted blending of biodiesel in conventional diesel from five percent biofuel content to seven percent,â€ it said.Germanyâ€™s biofuels industry association said on Monday that the countryâ€™s biodiesel industry is only working at 20 per cent of capacity largely because of high taxes. But Biopetrol said it was â€œwell positioned for the futureâ€ after its financial restructuring in April