The European Union has begun monitoring incoming renewable ethanol used to make fuels to determine if measures are needed to prevent a spike in imports from the US and other producing countries, an official EU magazine said on Wednesday.
A surveillance system designed to provide information faster than official statistics will be operational throughout the year. This means that the import must be accompanied by a surveillance report.
Demand in the EU, as elsewhere, has collapsed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and any diversion of excess stocks from producing countries to the European Union could hinder the recovery of EU producers.
The EU has responded to a similar threat of increased steel imports with a surveillance system that imposed quotas on certain grades in 2018 and tariffs if those quotas were exceeded.
About 84% of the world's bioethanol production comes from the United States and Brazil. A slight overcapacity in the United States prompted countries such as Brazil, China, Peru, and Colombia to take measures to restrict imports.
“It is clear that the volumes previously exported from the US to these markets can now be redirected to other markets, for example, the EU market,” says the EU magazine.
Antidumping measures against bioethanol in the US expired in 2019.
European industrial authority ePURE said the introduction of surveillance measures was an important step towards preventing a sharp increase in imports.