German biodiesel exports hit new high
With exports amounting to approximately 2.33 million metric tons (approximately 700 million gallons) and an export surplus of approximately 900,000 tons (270 million gallons), Germany underlines its importance for the production and marketing of biodiesel in the European Union. This has been stated by the Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen (UFOP) with reference to current official statistics. German biodiesel imports totaled approximately 1.45 million tons (more than 435 million gallons). The Netherlands was once more the by far most important recipient and exporting country, with approximately 1 million tons and 700,000 tons (more than 300 million gallons and 210 million gallons) respectively. In the calendar year 2020, Germany imported and exported more biodiesel than ever before.
According to investigations conducted by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), larger import volumes also came from Belgium, Malaysia and Poland. The growth in imports from France is especially noticeable. At 74,000 tons (more than 22 million gallons), the country more than tripled its biodiesel shipments to the German market year-on-year. Whereas imports from the Netherlands declined approximately 2 percent to 700,000 tons (210 million gallons), those from Malaysia dropped around 9 percent to 139,000 tons (42 million gallons). Germany supplied a record quantity of 955,000 tons (approximately 287 million gallons) to the Netherlands in 2020. This translates to a 12 percent rise on the year. German shipments to Belgium accounted for 15 percent of total exports in 2020. The country imported around 356,000 tons (107 million gallons). This was up around 35 percent year-on-year.
The UFOP has pointed out that the German statistics published take into account exclusively biodiesel. Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) is not included. In this context, the UFOP has emphasized the urgent need to adjust the information published in the official statistics. According to the association, as a consequence of the increasing importance of HVO, biodiesel and HVO data should be captured and listed separately to facilitate greater market transparency. The reason given is that biodiesel and HVO are different fuels, each with its own specific fuel standard.
The next Evaluation and Progress Report of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food will show which quantities of biodiesel and HVO—listed by feedstock type and origin—were actually credited towards the German 6 percent GHG reduction target in 2020. The UFOP expects the report to be published at the end of October.