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Tabele IV

Tabelle IV


Trade data for 2001–2004 show a dramatic increase in bioethanol exports from the countries benefiting from the special drugs regime in previous years. Although these countries have benefited from the same regime since the 1990s, the unlimited duty-free access enjoyed under this scheme at a moment of rising demand for alcohol under code 2207 can be considered the single most important factor underlying the doubling of bioethanol exports from these countries to the EU. All major exporters under code 2207 over the last three years benefit from this scheme: Pakistan, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Panama. Altogether, exports of ethanol from the GSP-plus beneficiaries totalled 1 412 896 hl in 2004: practically all duty-free exports to the EU and 46% of all exports under code 2207 to the EU over the 2002–2004 period.
Thanks to its lower production costs, Pakistan took a big lead over the other GSP beneficiaries with 1 008 656 hl in 2004 (the second largest exporter in the world) followed, at a distance, by Guatemala with over 250 000 hl.
Under the new GSP, the exclusion of Pakistan from the list of countries having unlimited duty-free access to the EU market will remove from the market one of the most aggressive and competitive producers. All the other direct competitors under the GSP drugs regime will continue to enjoy duty-free access to the EU market and might be expected to fill the gap left by Pakistan, as they have relatively low production costs too.
Nevertheless, at US$14.52/hl, Pakistan has production costs closer to Brazil’s, which, with production costs of US$13.55/hl, still manages to export substantial quantities to the EU despite paying the full MFN duty. Pakistan might therefore be expected to continue to be able to export significant quantities of ethanol to the EU, albeit not at the same pace as before, thus utilising the increased production capacity built over the last couple of years. By contrast, the 15% reduction offered by the normal GSP regime provided access for approximately 9% of exports of the same product to the EU market. Unlike the obvious favourable impact of the GSP drugs regime, the impact of the 15% duty reduction is more difficult to assess. The two largest exporting countries benefiting from this reduction are Ukraine and South Africa. In the case of Ukraine, the introduction of the 15% reduction coincided with a dramatic increase in exports over the 2002–2004 period. For South Africa, on the other hand, the last two years showed exports stable at approximately 50 000 hl, following a dramatic decrease over the 2000–2001 period. Under these conditions, it is difficult to predict the impact of the removal of the 15% import duty reduction, although it seems fair to say that even such a small reduction seemed to provide a competitive advantage over the countries paying full duty.


So far, exports of bioethanol to the EU from countries benefiting from the special arrangement for the least developed countries (the EBA initiative) under the GSP (EC) Regulation No 980/2005 have been negligible and have come primarily from one country – the Democratic Republic of Congo – which already qualified for duty-free access as an ACP country. At the moment, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the only LDC with sizeable, though erratic, exports of alcohol to the EU under code 2207 since 1999. In 2004 exports totalled 18 956 hl after peaking at 86 246 hl the year before.
It is fair to recognise, however, that the EBA dates back to only 2001 and some of the countries which did not have duty-free access under other earlier regimes (notably Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Nepal) might find new ways of access to the EU in the medium or longer term. New opportunities might emerge in these countries – which generally do not produce (or are not very competitive at producing) sugar cane or any other raw material for bioethanol production from their own resources – in the form of processing molasses imported from their competitive, sugar-producing neighbours. This might be the case with Cambodia, which could use raw material from Thailand, or with Bangladesh and Nepal, which might process raw material from India. At the moment it is difficult to quantify future potential production from these countries, but investments are known to have been made in some of them, for example Bangladesh.
In this respect, it is important to stress that under Council Regulation (EC) No 980/2005, imports are subject to the GSP rules of origin including regional cumulation. The Commission services are currently considering the reform of GSP rules of origin in line with the orientations contained in the Commission’s Communication COM(2005) 100 of 16 March 2005 on “The rules of origin in preferential trade arrangements: Orientations for the future”.
This aims at simplification and appropriate relaxation of the rules. Inter alia, if favours the principle of using a value-added method for the determination of origin.

Cotonou Agreement

On the whole, ACP exports to the EU under code 2207 have so far been limited. Over the last couple of years, however, they have been fairly stable at 238 167 hl, despite a low of 154 663 hl in 2004 (excluding South Africa: 48 728 hl).
Swaziland and Zimbabwe are by far the leading exporters with an average of 85 562 hl and 120 261 hl, respectively, over the 2002–04 period. A number of ACP countries are likely to consider bioethanol production as an alternative to sugar production as part of the restructuring resulting from the EU sugar reform. However, bioethanol production from sugar cane might remain relatively low and limited only to countries where sugar production is competitive, such as Swaziland and Zimbabwe, which have production costs close to Brazil’s and India’s and which are already exporting substantial quantities to the EU under code 2207.

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