It was reported by in a Canadian news magazine that Italian customs seized 10,000 tonnes of biodiesel that was headed from Quebec to the port of Venice. They blocked the shipment because of a tip the Italians got that the fuel had been originally produced in the US.
Last May the European Comission imposed duties on all US biodiesel being imported into Europe for the next 5 years. They imposed this because of the large amount of subsidies that the US gives to its biodiesel manufacturers, the EC feels that it is illegal to do so and that they are creating unfair export pricing. These subsidies have dirrectly affected the imports of US biodiesel diminishing them to 400,000 tonnes in ’09 from 1.5 mil in ’08. The European Biodiesel Board believes that the US has begun shipping its biofuel into Canada and in return Canada is directly shipping it as Canadian fuel as well as mixing it with its own biodiesel. The main point is that Europe doesn’t want it to be sold at illegal price discounts. it is interesting that Canadian exports of biodiesel has risen in the recent months and these allegations, if true could really hurt Canadian-European free trade negotiations. The duties reported are 506 $ per ton, adding about half as much to the going market price for biodiesel.