The European Commission on November 4 introduced surveillance of imports of bioethanol into the EU after a surge of cheap imports in the last months. 

The measure, which does not restrict imports, comes after a request by France on behalf of the European bioethanol industry. Imports from all countries will be monitored for one year, with the data to be made publicly available on a monthly basis. The figures should help the industry assess the need for further action and prevent further injury from a jump in imports. 

Welcoming the measure, the European renewable ethanol association (ePURE) said that even before the pandemic, bioethanol imports into the EU had surged from 87.6 thousand tonnes in 2017 to 536.2 thousand tonnes in 2019, with their market share reaching 14% in the first quarter of 2020.  

COVID-19 could worsen the situation. ePURE secretary-general Emmanuel Desplechin said that “due to the COVID-19 market disturbances, foreign fuel ethanol producers have accumulated significant stocks and are eager to sell them off by all means.”

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Image by LIBER Europe licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.