US biodiesel production picks up slightly in March over February

By Ron Kotrba | June 12, 2020

U.S. production of biodiesel ticked up slightly in March over February despite the onset of lockdowns from the coronavirus pandemic that began to take hold in the U.S. that month, according to recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Production of biodiesel in the U.S. was 151 million gallons in March, which was 19 million gallons higher than February’s production volumes.

In addition to the burgeoning health and economic crisis that began in the U.S. in March, many of the biodiesel plants that idled production in 2019 due to the prolonged federal tax credit lapse and copious small refinery waivers relieving oil companies of their obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard had not yet restarted by March, and none of them had received their retroactive tax credit refunds for 2018-’19 from the IRS after the incentive was reinstated in late December.

Midwestern biodiesel production accounted for 71 percent of the U.S. total. Overall production came from 90 biodiesel plants with capacity of 2.5 billion gallons per year.

Producer sales of biodiesel during March included 64 million gallons sold as B100 and an additional 84 million gallons of B100 sold in biodiesel blends.

A total of 1.15 billion pounds of feedstock was used to produce biodiesel in March, with soybean oil remaining the largest feedstock consumed at 656 million pounds.

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