Australia imposes dumping duty on US biodiesel

SYDNEY (Reuters)

Australia slapped an anti-dumping duty on cheap imports of U.S. biodiesel, the nations customs agency said on Monday, after an official investigation found that shipments of heavily subsidized biodiesel had been sold into Australia.

The Australian Customs and Boarder Protection Services concluded that the subsidized and dumped exports from the US were hurting the local industry and clogging the market with similar goods.

U.S. subsidies of biodiesel, commonly made from food crops and sold as a green alternative to crude-oil based fuel, have boosted cheap global supplies, which led to the European Union slapping importers with duties in 2009.

"What this does is it provides security or certainty going forward for the Australian industry" said Chris Attwood, the General Manager of Biodiesel Producers Ltd., the firm which made the original complaint that led to the government's anti-dumping action.

"It certainly brings the importation back to a level playing field, where domestically manufactured bio diesel is on equal terms with US based imported bio diesel," Attwood told Reuters.

The EU imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on U.S. imports two years ago after an investigation revealed EU producers of biodiesel were being hammered by U.S. subsidies.

Australian Minister from Home Affair Brendan O'Connor accepted the recommendations of the customs agency.

"I am satisfied that the countervailable subsidies have been received in respect to the goods that have already been exported to Australia; and that countervailable subsidy may be received in respect to like goods that may be exported to Australia in the future; and because of that, material injury to the Australian industry producing like goods has been caused," Brendan O'Connor said in a statement.

Australia offers a cleaner-fuels grant as a tax break worth around A$0.40 a liter which is available to makers and importers of biodiesel until end-June.

Source: Reuters (Reporting by Amy Pyett; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)