European Union member states agreed to impose punitive duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, which are accused of selling it into the bloc at unfairly low prices, according to diplomats. Argentina has anticipated it will take the case to the World Trade Organization.
A majority of the EU members on Tuesday backed the European Commission's view that producers in the two countries were dumping - selling at below fair market or cost price.
The European Commission has proposed duties of between 217 and 246 Euros (300-340 dollars) per ton on biodiesel imports from Argentina and of between 122 to 179 Euros a ton on imports from Indonesia, according to Reuters.
Imports are already subject to provisional tariffs, imposed in May. The definitive duties, which are slightly higher, should be in place by the end of November after further procedural steps.
Argentina is the world's biggest biodiesel exporter, and the two countries represent 90% of EU biodiesel imports. Their share of the EU market rose to 22% in 2011 from 9% in 2009.
Biodiesel is mostly made from rapeseed oil in Europe. Palm oil is favored in Asia and soybean oil in the Americas.
The companies set to be hit by the duties on exports from Argentina include agri-businesses Bunge Ltd and Louis Dreyfus Commodities, which face duties of 217 and 239 Euros per ton, respectively.
Argentina is preparing to take the European Union to the World Trade Organization to challenge the punitive duties, according to people familiar with the matter.
Argentina has already launched a WTO challenge against EU rules for importing biodiesel, and the EU went to the Geneva-based trade body last December to claim that Argentine import restrictions are illegal.