The European Commission (EC) in September introduced retroactive surveillance on imports of renewable ethanol for fuel amid concerns about worsening negative effects on EU producers. 

The measure comes after a spike in imports, with the ratio of imports as compared to EU production surging to 39% in 2022 from 21% in 2021.

The EC said that, based on extrapolated TARIC data, imports of bioethanol for fuel have increased by 45% between 2021 and 2022 and by a further 43.5% year-over-year in the first five months of 2023. The top four importers are the US, Brazil, Peru and Pakistan. Between 2021 and 2022, imports from the US rose 96%, from Brazil - by 37%, and from Pakistan they marked a jump of 179%, while imports from Peru decreased by 13%. The Commission noted that import prices from Brazil and the US are more than 15% lower than EU prices and that both countries have excess capacity for export markets.

The surveillance measure will be in force for three years. A similar measure was introduced in November 2020 and expired after one year as 2021 imports decreased.

“This Commission action is reassuring news for the sector as monthly monitoring will allow a close statistical picture of volumes of fuel ethanol imports and help the EU to act quickly to respond to a threat of serious injury for the EU industry, if needed,” commented ePURE Director General David Carpintero.