November 9, 2017 / 5:41 PM / a year ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-U.S. sets final anti-subsidy duties on Argentine, Indonesian biodiesel

(Corrects name of Argentine biofuel industry group to Carbio, not Cabrio, paragraph 4)

WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday said it set final anti-subsidy duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia.

The duties range from 71.45 percent to 72.28 percent on soy-based biodiesel from Argentina, Commerce said in a statement. The numbers are up from preliminary countervailing duty rates of 50.29 percent to 64.17 percent set by the department in August.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri said on Tuesday his government would appeal to the World Trade Organization if the Commerce Department followed through on threatened duties on biodiesel.

Argentine biofuel industry group Carbio declined to comment.

The final anti-subsidy rates for palm oil biodiesel from Indonesia were set at 34.45 percent to 64.73 percent, Commerce said. These are below the range of 41.06 percent to 68.28 percent set by the department in August.

The countervailing duties come on top of proposed anti-dumping duties for both countries’ biodiesel announced in October.

The duties applied in August had already virtually halted imports from Argentina and Indonesia, which were valued in 2016 at an estimated $1.2 billion and $268 million, respectively, department figures show.

“We appreciate that these unfair subsidies are being addressed, so we can fix this particular obstacle to continued growth in the domestic industry,” Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer of the National Biodiesel Board, said in a statement.

The NBB, a U.S. industry group, first reported the latest Commerce Department decision earlier on Thursday.

Biodiesel is used by itself or with petroleum-based diesel mainly as a motor fuel.

For the final duties to take effect, the U.S. International Trade Commission must find the imports cause harm to U.S. producers. It is scheduled to hold its final injury vote on subsidies on Dec. 5.

In the separate antidumping investigation, Commerce is expected to issue a final ruling in early January, which would be followed by another injury determination by the ITC. (Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Tim Ahmann and James Dalgleish)

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