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EU biodiesel imports dropped considerably
China is the second largest supplier behind Argentina
In the calendar year 2020, the EU-27 imported a total of 3.1 million tonnes of biodiesel from non-EU countries. This was down around 16 per cent year-on-year and down 13 per cent compared to 2018. Whereas Argentina accounted for almost half of EU biodiesel imports two years ago (1.65 million tonnes), its share dropped to just less than one third (895.000 tonnes) in 2020. In other words, the country only utilised 74 per cent of the duty-freed import quota of 1.2 million tonnes agreed with the EU in January 2019. Shipments from Indonesia plummeted even more sharply in 2020. They amounted to 138,000 tonnes, which translates to an 83 per cent slump compared to 2019. Whereas in 2019 the country accounted for just over one fifth of all imports, its share dropped to only 4 per cent in 2020. Biodiesel shipments from Malaysia also dwindled. At 476,000 tonnes, they fell approximately 43 per cent compared to 2019. The decrease in imports from Indonesia and Malaysia was partially offset by imports from other third 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 and15 per cent to Belgium.
The Union zur Förderung von Oel und Proteinpflanzen e.V. (UFOP) has explained the lower demand for imports as being due to the decline in biodiesel consumption which fell from 12.5 million tonnes in 2019 to 11.4 million tonnes in 2020. At the same time, the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) rose from 2.6 million tonnes to 3.6 million tonnes.
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