Germany's biodiesel trade gap narrows as imports up, exports down

By Ron Kotrba | September 02, 2016

Demand for German biodiesel waned significantly in the first half of 2016, according to Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP). At slightly more than 570,000 tons (171.1 million gallons), exports to other European countries were down about a fifth from the same period last year. Countries that imported small amounts of biodiesel from Germany in 2015 took in even less this year, but exports to main destinations such as the Netherlands and Poland increased.

While German exports are down, imports reached 390,000 tons (117.1 million gallons), a 46 percent jump over to the first half of last year. UFOP says more imports came by way of European import ports in the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as from Poland and Austria. Direct shipments from Southeast Asia, however, were down slightly.

“Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft mbH (AMI) indicated that the foreign trade statistics consequently reflect that nevertheless biodiesel exports continue to play an important role in the utilization of German biodiesel plants,” stated the UFOP. “There is currently no way of knowing whether this trend is going to continue in the second half of the year. The growing use of biodiesel from used cooking oil (UCOME) may be one factor explaining the current slump in foreign demand. UCOME may be counted double towards renewable quota obligations in countries like the Netherlands, Poland and Great Britain.”

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