ICIS' Global Biodiesel price report contains news and analysis of market movements around the world. Our price assessments focus on European spot, South America, North America domestic and Asia spot.
The commentary highlights the influencing factors driving prices, and includes feedstock prices and graphs to reflect changing prices in this weekly report. Whether you are directly buying or selling on the biodiesel or related markets, this informative report will help you to make confident business decisions.
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Biodiesel: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2017
In the third quarter, the biodiesel industry will continue to face unprecedented uncertainty.
The US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel volume mandate for 2017 took effect at the end of the first quarter, after a regulatory freeze introduced by the Trump administration expired.
There is concern over the point of obligation for blending and most market players do not want to see any change in 2017. The US National Biodiesel Board (NBB) filed an antidumping and countervailing duty petition with the US government to investigate imports from Argentina and Indonesia, saying they have violated trade laws by flooding the US market with dumped, subsidized biodiesel.
The outlook for southeast Asian palm methyl ester (PME) biodiesel remains uncertain with biodiesel prices still trading well above regular gasoil or diesel prices. Producers in Indonesia and Malaysia do not expect export demand to show any improvement while they also mainly supply domestic markets in line with local biofuel mandates. Also potentially worsening the biodiesel export market are efforts by the EU to curb the use of vegetable oils and the US Commerce Department’s ongoing investigation into anti-dumping complaints against Indonesian biodiesel.
Demand for rapeseed methyl ester (RME) in Europe is likely to remain sluggish in the coming months as the summer tends to be peak demand season for biodiesel with higher cold filter plugging points, such as fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) 0. Feedstock rapeseed oil prices are backwardated as the old crop comes to an end, with the new crop expected to hit the market in July or August. Production margins are poor with operating rates likely to remain slow until the peak RME demand winter season.
News & analysis
Biodiesel news & analysis
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Biodiesel, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from renewable resources. The most commonly used feedstocks are rapeseed, soy and palm oil. Corn and tallow are also used. Rapeseed methyl ester (RME) is mainly produced in Europe; soy methyl ester (SME) comes mainly from the Americas; and palm methyl ester (PME) from Asia, in particular Malaysia and Indonesia.
Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification to make the methyl ester with glycerine and is produced as a by-product.
Biodiesel can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines and most oil-fired boilers. It is suitable for most applications where regular diesel is currently used. It can also be used in most modern diesel engines without modification, including those in passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, light trucks, buses, ships, trains, off-road heavy equipment and mining equipment, as well as for home heating fuel, power generation and in two-stroke engines (as a mixing agent).