Global biodiesel supplies rise to record highs

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Growing production of soybean meal in the US and South America is driving the use in biofuels and has caused global biodiesel supply to rise to a record high level.
Based on official data, private sources and forecasts, the International Grains Council (IGC) estimates global production of biodiesel, including HVO, for 2023 at a record high of 71.5 million tonnes.
This is an 11% increase on the previous year and almost exclusively based on increases in North and South America and Asia.
The EU-27 remained the top producer, although production barely changed compared to the previous year.
This year‘s world production will reach a high of 76.3 million tonnes and thus exceed the previous year's output by 7%.
In recent years, the US, Brazil and Indonesia in particular have expanded their biodiesel production.
As a result, these three countries now account for almost 60 per cent of global production, compared to merely 35% 10 years ago. In the US alone, production of biodiesel and HVO nearly doubled to just less than 20 million tonnes since 2020. It is expected to rise further to 21 million tonnes in 2024.
Soybean oil plays an important role in terms of feedstocks used in North and South America. On the other hand, soybean meal, which has a protein content of 80 % in the bean and costs approximately €420/tonne, is the economic driving force behind the production expansions and not soybean oil, which is traded at approximately €935 per tonne in Germany.
The continuous rise in supply of soybean oil associated with soybean meal production has led to a significant increase in global industrial demand, which is expected to reach a record level of 6.4 million tonnes in 2024/25 (previous year: 5.9 million tonnes).
Higher demand for soybean meal leads to expansions in area planted. In contrast, consumption of soybean oil as foodstuff remained virtually unchanged, according to investigations conducted by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH).
US soybean meal exports could also reach a record high volume of 15.7 (14.3) million tonnes in 2024/25, although the export potential will be limited by rising domestic consumption. In Brazil, on the other hand, the large harvests are sufficient to cover national demand and exports.

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