Dumping complaint threatens Argentina’s biodiesel exports

Updated 02 April 2017
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Dumping complaint threatens Argentina’s biodiesel exports

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina’s biodiesel exports could be devastated if the US government imposed anti-dumping duties on the country based on a complaint by the US National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the heads of two local industry chambers said.
The board last week asked the US government to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia after two years of tension between the US and foreign producers over soaring imports.
“If a sanction is applied against Argentina in the US market, our exports will no longer be viable. At this point, there is no alternative market,” Claudio Molina, executive director of the Argentine Biofuels Association said on Friday in an interview.
The US is Argentina’s No.1 biodiesel export market and US sanctions would hit large exporters such as Cargill, Bunge, Louis Dreyfus and COFCO Agri, part of China’s state-run COFCO Group
Argentine biodiesel exports to its previous No. 1 client, the EU, were suspended due to complaints and counter claims pending before the World Trade Organization (WTO). Peru, another buyer of Argentine biodiesel, has also placed tariffs on Argentine biodiesel based on dumping complaints.
The Argentine market, where biodiesel is mixed with diesel fuel, is not nearly big enough to absorb the excess should exports to the US be blocked. Of the 1.6 million tons of biodiesel that Argentina exported in 2016, 90 percent went to the US, according to Energy Ministry data.
A hearing will be held in the US next month to evaluate the NBB’s request, Molina said
Argentina taxes biodiesel at a variable rate, at 6 percent this month. But producers pay significantly less for soy oil, the main ingredient of biodiesel, than international competitors because they do not have to pay a 27 percent tax on exports. Local industry representatives say Argentina has an added advantage because its soy fields and crushing plants are located near the country’s ports.
“We have much more access to raw materials and we are more oriented toward exporting than the US is,” said Victor Castro, executive director of the Argentine Biofuels Chamber (ABC).
“The system (for resolving dumping complaints) is so bureaucratic and it takes so long that it can leave you out of the market for years without a ruling,” Castro added.
The WTO ruled last year in favor of several claims by Argentina against anti-dumping duties imposed by the EU but the adjudication continues and the duties remain.


UK households grow less confident about their finances in October — IHS Markit

Updated 22 October 2018
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UK households grow less confident about their finances in October — IHS Markit

  • 23 percent of households expect their finances to weaken over the next year
  • The survey asked 1,500 respondents

LONDON: British households’ confidence in their finances worsened this month as their earnings from employment rose at the weakest rate since February, adding to growing signs of caution among consumers, a survey showed on Monday.
The IHS Markit Household Finance Index, watched by the Bank of England as a gauge of consumers’ financial health, cooled to a three-month low of 45.1 from 45.7 in September, though the reading is still one of the highest since the survey’s 2009 launch.
The survey’s findings may raise eyebrows among BoE officials who expect inflation pressure to pick up over the next couple of years, driven by a gradual pick-up in wage growth.
Data firm IHS Markit said the British public’s inflation expectations for the next 12 month fell this month to the lowest in two years, while optimism about house prices was the lowest since July 2016 — just after the Brexit vote.
“UK households cast their most downbeat assessment of current finances in three months in October as weaker earnings growth from employment limited cash availability,” IHS Markit economist Joe Hayes said.
“Looking ahead, households were more concerned about their future budgets.”
Other gauges of financial sentiment among households have also soured recently.
Expectations for personal finances over the next 12 months struck a five-month low in September, according to a closely-watched report from pollsters GfK.
And the latest Thomson Reuters/Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index showed 23 percent of households expect their finances to weaken over the next year — the biggest proportion since March 2013.
IHS Markit said households’ expectations for Bank of England interest rates were barely changed compared from a month ago, with half of households expecting another interest rate hike within the next six months.
The survey of 1,500 people was conducted between Oct. 11 and Oct. 16.