6. March 2022 ecokontor

Foreign trade in biodiesel declines

In Germany, the UFOP reports that compared to the record levels shown in the quota year 2020, foreign trade in biodiesel declined only slightly in 2021. In both years, the export surplus was around 1 million tons. According to the UFOP, increases in exports were not to be expected in 2020, because the cap on greenhouse gas emission was raised from 4 per cent to 6 per cent that obligation year and the transfer of quotas from previous years was not possible.

The demand gap to meet the quota on GHG emission was bridged by importing approximately 1.04 million tonnes of hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) in 2020, according to the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) report published in December 2021. The UFOP has demanded that this fuel alternative, which is gaining in importance with regard to additional uses, be listed transparently in official statistics. The association has pointed out that the fuels are different and that each is covered by its own specific fuel standard. The UFOP has urged that all biofuels and in future also all synthetic fuels (e-fuels) be listed – similar to the regulation requirements governing fossil fuels.

The Netherlands remain the by far most important trading partner, although in some cases volumes declined sharply on the previous year. According to investigations conducted by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), larger volumes also came from Belgium, Poland, France and Malaysia. Whereas France delivered almost as much as a year earlier, imports from other countries dropped significantly. Imports from Malaysia virtually collapsed, nosediving 54 per cent.

At the same time, Germany delivered around 846,000 tonnes to the Netherlands in 2021, which was 18 per cent less year-on-year. Exports to Poland, the US, Austria and Sweden also decreased. Only Belgium – with 354,000 tonnes the number two of the top five recipient countries – imported 3 per cent more biodiesel from Germany than the previous year.