By Ron Kotrba | July 10, 2013

This has been quite the interesting year when it comes to global movement of biodiesel. At press time, Brazilian firm BSBios announced exportation of its, and Brazil’s, first volumes of biodiesel. In late June, the company said the fuel was headed for the Port of Rotterdam, the major EU hub port in The Netherlands. This, of course, came after the EU put provisional antidumping tariffs on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia (see Legal Perspectives on page 6). The EU had been a major export market for biodiesel from those two countries. This led to reports of Argentina pursuing registration with U.S. EPA under the renewable fuel standard to generate RINs so producers could find a new, major outlet for their biodiesel (see Talking Point on page 7).

Interestingly, EIA data released at the end of May showed U.S. imports of biodiesel were up more than eight-fold over February (see page 10), and sources indicate the summer months will see even more imports. Those March figures included the first shipments of biodiesel from Argentina in years.

Much of the imported biodiesel hitting American shores thus far has been RIN-less, so the thought has been high RIN-less imports coupled with unimpressive first-quarter domestic production would likely mean an increase in RIN prices, which would be a good thing for producers. Then Australian Renewable Fuels announced it was shipping 3 million gallons of biodiesel to the U.S. and, according to the EPA’s expansive excel file of registered fuel producers, obligated parties and importers, the company is registered to generate D4 RINs. This would equate to 4.5 million D4 biomass-based diesel RINs headed to U.S. shores from ARFuels alone. Then EPA released domestic production volumes for May, which showed an 18.5 percent increase in U.S. production over April—also a good thing for the industry. This means U.S. producers are ramping up production to meet its largest federal mandate yet. Through May, domestic production exceeded 500 million gallons. How will all of these events affect RIN prices? Time will tell.

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