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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

US renewable diesel imports jump 40% in 2021

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

The U.S. imported nearly 600 million gallons of biobased diesel last year, topping out at 595.2 million gallons, according to data released Feb. 28 by the Energy Information Administration. Imports of biobased diesel, including both biodiesel and renewable diesel, in 2021 were up 25 percent over 2020.

U.S. renewable diesel imports last year approached 400 million gallons, totaling more than 392 million gallons. All of this, save 798,000 gallons, came from Singapore. The other nearly 800,000 gallons was shipped to the U.S. via the Netherlands. U.S. renewable diesel imports in 2021 were 40 percent higher than 2020 volumes of 279.6 million gallons.

Biodiesel imports into the U.S. totaled nearly 203 million gallons in 2021, up just 3 percent from 2020’s volume of 197 million gallons. More than half of last year’s imports, in excess of 129 million gallons, entered the U.S. from Canada. Germany shipped more than 27 million gallons to the U.S. last year, while South Korea sent nearly 24 million gallons. Spain and Italy exported 19.6 million gallons and nearly 3.4 million gallons to the U.S. last year, respectively.

The U.S. exported 182.5 million gallons of biodiesel in 2021, up 28.5 percent from 2020 exports, which totaled 142 million gallons. This increase helped narrow the gap in U.S. biodiesel’s unfavorable balance of trade. In 2020, U.S. biodiesel imports outpaced exports by nearly 40 percent.

A vast majority of last year’s U.S. biodiesel exports, or more than 141 million gallons, was shipped to Canada. Nearly 20 million gallons went to Peru. More than 8.3 million gallons was shipped to the Netherlands, while more than 7 million gallons went to Singapore. Uruguay received nearly 3.5 million gallons while volumes shipped to Mexico approached 1.5 million gallons. Germany took receipt of more than half a-million gallons with smaller volumes going to Chili, South Korea and Norway.

EIA does not track U.S. renewable diesel exports.

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