BSBIOS Exports Biodiesel to EU After Duties Imposed on Argentina

BSBIOS Industria e Comercio de Biodiesel Sul Brasil SA, the biofuel producer that’s half-owned by Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras, began exporting after the European Union imposed tariffs on imports from neighboring Argentina.

The company expects to ship 9.1 million liters (2.4 million gallons) of the renewable fuel to Europe this month, according to Erasmo Carlos Battistella, president of Sao Paulo-based BSBIOS.

The EU imposed tariffs of as much as 104.92 euros ($135.06) a metric ton on imports from Argentina and Indonesia in May for allegedly selling the fuel below cost, a practice known as dumping. That’s opened the door to exports from other countries including Brazil, Battistella said.

“Brazil could become a large exporter of biodiesel,” Battistella said in a July 4 telephone interview. “That’s my vision.”

BSBIOS received an export license from Brazil’s fuel regulator in 2008 and hasn’t sold the fuel outside the country until now.

Argentina was the world’s biggest exporter of biodiesel last year, Roberto Rodriguez Labastida, a London-based analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said today in an e-mail. Brazil has the most production capacity after the U.S. and almost all of Brazil’s biodiesel is consumed domestically.

“This first export of ours will generate very low profitability but our interest here is to build up the know-how of exporting biodiesel,” Battistella said. “We’re working hard to export more this year.”

Brazilian producers may be able to produce and ship biodiesel to Rotterdam for about 98 cents, Labastida said. The soybean-based fuel is selling there now for $1.

BSBIOS is 50 percent owned by Petroleo Brasileiro SA. It exports biodiesel from its plant in the southern city of Passo Fundo, about 636 kilometers (395 miles) from the port of Paranagua.

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