LAST week, the European Commission disclosed that it would propose duties on U.S. ethanol imported into the European Union.
Following a year-long investigation, the commission said its forthcoming proposed ruling would recommend a 9.6% duty on U.S. ethanol.
In November 2011, the EU launched an antidumping investigation, specifically questioning the 45 cents/gal. volumetric ethanol excise tax credit (VEETC) available to blenders of ethanol and gasoline (Feedstuffs, Dec. 5, 2011). European ethanol producers claimed that U.S. ethanol took advantage of the tax incentive prior to export, thus lowering the price of the U.S. product and harming EU producers. From 2008 to 2010, EU imports of U.S.-produced fuel ethanol surged by more than 500%.
In a joint statement, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Assn. (RFA) said they continue to cooperate with the commission's investigation and were troubled by the recommendation of a 9.6% antidumping duty.
"We remain convinced that if all the facts are considered, the EU will decide not to impose any antidumping duties on imports of ethanol produced in the U.S.," the two groups said.
When the case was initiated last year, RFA noted that ethanol producers were not eligible for VEETC because the tax incentive went to gasoline blenders, marketers and other end users, so producers should not be the focus of any potential EU action. VEETC expired at the end of 2011.