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EU slaps import fees on US biodiesel

March 17, 2009
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The EU fees will affect biodiesel sold by Archer Daniels Midland Co., Cargill Inc. and several others to Europe, the world''s biggest user and producer of crop-based fuels. The EU said U.S. biodiesel producers sold biodiesel to Europe far below the real costs of production and received federal tax credits and state subsidies. It said this helped U.S. exporters increase their share of the EU market for biodiesel from 0.4 percent in 2005 to more than 17 percent from April 2007 to March 2008. The U.S. is the EU''s biggest foreign supplier of biodiesel, providing euro700 million worth of fuel to a total market worth euro5 billion. The duties will initially be in place for four months and could be confirmed after that for up to five years. The European Biodiesel Board said the new import fees would help re-establish a level playing field for European producers, claiming unfair U.S. competition has already caused some companies to go bankrupt or to quit biodiesel production. The EU plans to use far more biofuels in the coming years, setting a target to replace 10 percent of transport oil with biofuel by 2020 -- or 33 million metric tons of oil.

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