Port of Rotterdam biofuels throughput in 2010 falls 12%

07 February 2011 17:40  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The Port of Rotterdam's total biofuels throughput in 2010 fell 12% year on year to 4.6m tonnes, the authority for the Netherlands-based port said on Monday.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority said that the reported figures were distorted by a great influx of subsidised biodiesel from the US, which continued to flow in at the beginning of 2009.

At the segment level, figures showed that biodiesel throughput in 2010 declined by 35% from 2009 to 1.5m tonnes.

Bioethanol throughput in 2010 remained stable at 2.2m tonnes. Inbound trade declined from 1.5m tonnes to 1.4m tonnes, while bioethanol imports from Brazil fell sharply, to just over 10% of the total.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority said that the main reason for this sharp fall in bioethanol imports was the limited availability of ethanol in Brazil that matched EU specifications.

“As a result, the price rose, while at the same time cheap spot imports from the US became available…The US is actually a newcomer on the international ethanol market and in 2010 it captured a little under 15% of the Rotterdam import market,” it said.

Ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) throughput last year increased by 200,000 tonnes to a total of 900,000 tonnes compared with 2009.

The authority said that among suppliers of inbound ETBE, the most important was Brazil, where Braskem is the major producer and exporter. For outbound product, France and Spain were the main destinations.

Looking at 2011, the authority said it anticipates an increase in the handling of biofuels due to the increasing blend percentages imposed by law, as well as that more countries and producers were entering the market, which was stimulating both transhipment and storage activities.

“It can be expected that the market will shortly be less influenced by subsidies and more by demand and supply,” the authority said.

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By: Franco Capaldo
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