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  • UFOP

Germany’s foreign trade in biodiesel hits record level in 2022

In the marketing year 2022, Germany shipped 2.34 million metric tons (more than 700 million gallons) of biodiesel abroad, the largest quantity ever. Imports also hit an all-time high of 1.4 million tons (approximately 420 million gallons).

The Netherlands remained by far Germany’s most important trading partner for biodiesel.

In 2022, the Netherlands received 21 percent more German biodiesel (1.16 million tons, or 348 million gallons) than in 2021.

The previous record high, reached in 2020, was exceeded by 124,000 tons (37 million gallons).

With the Rotterdam facilities, the Netherlands is the most important European hub for world trade in biodiesel.

German trade with Belgium and Poland also increased.

Belgium, ranking the second-most important recipient country, purchased around 635,900 tons (191 million gallons) of biodiesel from Germany in 2022. This translates to a 61 percent rise year-on-year.

At 287,200 tons (86 million gallons), shipments to the U.S. doubled compared to 2021.

Total German biodiesel exports reached a new record level at 2.34 million tons (more than 700 million gallons), with output amounting to approximately 3.2 million tons (961 million gallons).

According to investigations conducted by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), biodiesel imports to Germany in the year 2022 had a volume of 1.36 million tons (408 million gallons), which was up 31 percent on 2021.

The largest volumes came from the Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia and Austria.

The increase in imports from Austria was particularly noticeable. At 82,000 tons (24.6 million gallons), the volume shipped to the German market was a good one-and-a-half times higher on the previous year.

Malaysia shipped around 84 percent more.

By contrast, imports from France virtually collapsed, nosediving 45 percent.

According to the Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e.V. (UFOP), the German greenhouse-gas (GHG) quota policy is the key driver of this strong trade in goods.

This is a desired effect of the resources policy and it is confirmed by the feedstock figures for the biofuel volumes that are counted towards GHG-reduction targets, the figures for which have been published in The Evaluation and Progress Report by the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE).

In view of the initiative, UFOP has expressed regret that this impact of the GHG quota regime is not recognized by Steffi Lemke, the German federal minister for the environment, who has repeatedly launched to abolish biofuels from cultivated biomass.

The association has also underlined that for quality reasons, practically only rapeseed oil methyl ester (RME) (i.e., feedstock from European cultivation) can be used to meet winter specifications.

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