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Jakarta Post

RI to challenge EU'€™s anti-dumping duties

  • Linda Yulisman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, November 21, 2013   /  12:39 pm

Indonesian biofuel producers plan to appeal the EU'€™s final ruling on a biofuel dumping case that resulted in significant punitive duties on their exports.

Togar Sitanggang, a member of the Indonesian Biofuel Producers Association (Aprobi), said Indonesian biofuel producers would lodge an appeal with the European Court of Justice once they confirmed the ruling.

'€œWe will see on Nov. 28 whether the EU accepts our arguments. If they don'€™t, we will take the case to the court and perhaps the World Trade Organization (WTO), too,'€ said Togar, who is also a senior manager at biofuel maker Musim Mas.

The EU announced on Tuesday that it would place five-year tariffs on biodiesel from Indonesia, along with Argentina, that would go as high as ¤245.67 (US$332.05) per metric ton, or 25.7 percent of its price. The duties were double the provisional charges that were imposed in May and would become effective after a formal announcement in the EU Official Journal was made by Nov. 28, Bloomberg reported.

Late last month, both the government and industrial players filed a complaint to the EU for allegedly making discriminatory calculations on biodiesel prices and production costs that resulted in higher anti-dumping duties for the country.

The anti-dumping duties are in response to an investigation in August last year requested by the European Biodiesel Board representing above 60 percent of EU biodiesel output. Imports from Indonesia spiked considerably from 2008 to 2011, prompting its market share to rise significantly from 1.4 percent to 9.7 percent, thereby, threatening the industry across the bloc.

The five-year levies against Indonesian biodiesel producers, including PT Musim Mas and PT Pelita Agung Agrindustri, stretch from ¤76.94 per ton to ¤178.85 per ton. Previously, temporary duties ranging from ¤24.99 per ton to ¤83.84 per ton were announced in May.

The five-year duties against Argentina range from 216.64 euros a ton on Aceitera General Deheza to ¤245.67 a ton on exporters, including Molinos Rio de la Plata. Argentina'€™s provisional levies had ranged from ¤65.24 a ton on Molinos Rio de la Plata to ¤104.92 a ton on exporters, including Aceitera General Deheza.

Indonesian producer PT Ciliandra Perkasa, which earlier obtained a zero percent duty, will now be charged a five-year levy of ¤76.94 per ton.

Separately, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said the government would back all the efforts by industry players in the case.

'€œWe strongly support our business players to appeal to the EU court. We also support them bringing the case to the WTO,'€ he said.

Indonesia, the world'€™s biggest palm oil producer, has repeatedly been criticized by its trading partners, including the EU, as its biofuel price is much more competitive compared to commodities from other sources thanks to its abundant supply of palm oil.

Palm oil-based biofuel, for example, is sold for $200 per ton less than biofuel from other types of vegetable oil.

Previously, the 28-member bloc alleged that local biofuel producers had received improper subsidies from the government, but later dropped the allegation.

Late last year, the EU also slammed anti-dumping duties on imported fatty alcohols from Indonesia, together with India and Malaysia, but Indonesia in June this year proceeded to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body as it considered the measure unfair.