US EIA to expand biodiesel coverage amid industry collapse

22 April 2009 23:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) said on Wednesday it will expand its biodiesel reporting due to the dramatic downturn in the renewable fuels market.

The agency, which tracks fuel statistics, said it would start offering data on biodiesel import and export activity, inventory changes and consumption levels in its monthly energy review.

An EIA spokesman was not available for comment. In an official release, the agency said the new information would be important as US biodiesel producers faced "serious challenges".

EU tariffs have cut US exports to Europe, formerly its main market. Meanwhile, domestic demand is stalled amid policy debates, leading many producers to the brink of bankruptcy.

US biodiesel production last year was nearly 40% higher than the 490m gal (1.85bn litres) manufactured the year before, according to EIA data. But as business soured at the end of the year, consumption in 2008 dropped to 320m gal, more than 10% lower than the 358m gal used in 2007.  

The US biodiesel industry currently has more than 2.5bn gal/year in capacity, according to data from the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

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By: Ben Lefebvre
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