EU biodiesel imports in 2020 down 16% from 2019, Indonesian shipments down 83%
Following a sharp decline in biodiesel imports from Argentina to the EU-27 in 2019, a major slump has been recorded in deliveries from Malaysia and Indonesia for 2020.
In the calendar year 2020, the EU-27 imported a total of 3.1 million metric tons (more than 930 million gallons) of biodiesel from non-EU countries. This was down around 16 percent year-on-year and down 13 percent compared to 2018. Whereas Argentina accounted for almost half of EU biodiesel imports two years ago at 1.65 million tons (more than 495 million gallons), its share dropped to just less than one-third at 895,000 tons (approximately 269 million gallons) in 2020. In other words, the country only utilized 74 percent of the duty-freed import quota of 1.2 million tons (approximately 360 million gallons) agreed with the EU in January 2019.
Shipments from Indonesia plummeted even more sharply in 2020. They amounted to 138,000 tons (more than 41 million gallons), which translates to an 83 percent slump compared to 2019. Whereas in 2019 the country accounted for just over one-fifth of all imports, its share dropped to only 4 percent in 2020.
Biodiesel shipments from Malaysia also dwindled. At 476,000 tons (approximately 143 million gallons), they fell approximately 43 percent compared to 2019. The decrease in imports from Indonesia and Malaysia was partially offset by imports from other countries, above all China. The country delivered more biodiesel in 2020 than Indonesia and Malaysia put together.
Nearly half the biodiesel imports were made through the Netherlands as the trading hub. Around one-third of biodiesel imports went directly to Spain and 15 percent to Belgium.
According to the Union zur Förderung von Oel und Proteinpflanzen e.V. (UFOP), the lower demand for imports is due to the decline in biodiesel consumption, which fell from 12.5 million tons (3.75 billion gallons) in 2019 to 11.4 million tons (3.4 billion gallons) in 2020. At the same time, the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) rose from 2.6 million tons to 3.6 million tons, representing a 38 percent increase.