EU produces a third of global biomass-based diesel output

By Ron Kotrba | December 31, 2019

In the EU, biodiesel production has increased for another year, accounting for more than one third of global production, according to a December release by Germany’s UFOP.

Global biodiesel, renewable diesel and coprocessed renewable diesel production reached 41 million metric tons in 2018, or roughly 12.3 billion gallons, according to UFOP. The EU’s share was 34 percent, or approximately 4.2 billion gallons. UFOP points out that, while rapeseed oil is a primary feedstock for European biodiesel production, soybean oil is a primary source in the Americas as a result of excess oil from processing to meet the high demand of soybean meal for animal feed.

The largest biodiesel-producing areas in the world are the EU; Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia; the U.S.; and South America, most notably Brazil and Argentina.

UFOP notes that biodiesel production is growing rapidly in Southeast Asia—particularly in the key palm oil-producing countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, where a palm oil glut and the related pressure on prices in the vegetable oil markets are driving policies to increase biodiesel production.

“Contrary to the EU, these countries are raising their domestic blending quota requirements to stabilize producer prices and to reduce foreign exchange expenses on oil imports,” the UFOP stated. “For the second time, global output of vegetable oils exceeds the level of 200 million metric tons in the 2019-’20 marketing year.”

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