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US rapeseed/canola-oil imports surge after EPA approved its use for hydrotreated biofuel under RFS program in December 2022

The December 2022 approval the U.S. EPA granted for rapeseed oil for use as hydrotreated biofuel feedstock has led to a sharp rise in import volumes in the ensuing year and a half. 


In December 2022, EPA finalized approval of canola/rapeseed for use as hydrotreated biofuel feedstock under the Renewable Fuel Standard, stating that rapeseed oil meets the requirement of at least 50 percent greenhouse-gas reduction for renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.


Recent information published by USDA suggests that, whereas in 2018-’19 imports amounted to just less than 1.8 million metric tons, the upcoming season’s import demand is likely to reach 3.7 million tons.


According to investigations conducted by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), this means that imports will presumably not only double within six years but also hit a new record high.


Also, the use of rapeseed oil in the human diet has risen steadily.


This trend is set to continue in the next few years due to the free-trade agreement and geographic proximity to Canada, the world’s largest exporter of rapeseed and rapeseed oil.


U.S. biofuel producers are likely to have access to ample supply in the future, too.


Over recent years, the U.S. share in Canadian rapeseed-oil exports surged from between 50 percent and 60 percent to 91 percent in 2023.


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