Double counting has major effect on biodiesel sales

UFOP demands cap for biodiesel from waste oil

The sale of biodiesel fell again by 2.8 percent to a total of 2.34 million tonnes in 2012. For the Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e. V. (UFOP), the German oilseed grower organisation, this reveals a clear continuation of a worryingly negative trend. According to the Federal Statistical Office (BAFA), around 2.53 million tonnes of biodiesel were sold in 2010 for blending with diesel fuel and as a pure fuel. This figure dropped to 2.43 million tonnes of biodiesel in 2011. Sales have declined by almost 200,000 tonnes since 2010.

As causes, the UFOP cites the decline in sales of biodiesel as a pure fuel due to the reduction or abolition of the energy tax exemption. Furthermore, the possibility of double counting of biodiesel from waste oils presumably had an effect on the quota obligation for 2012. The UFOP criticises the fact that the official statistics identify neither the share of biodiesel suitable for double counting nor the share of hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO). The association determined that an estimation in regard to fulfilment of the quota obligation is not possible with this publication practice. The authorities responsible must finally establish the requisite transparency here.

In particular, the UFOP regards the increase in biodiesel from waste oils as critical and therefore calls for an upper limit for the double counting of 125,000 tonnes, as in France. This still corresponds to 250,000 tonnes of biodiesel, which are absent in the sales balance for rapeseed oil methyl ester (RME). UFOP also warns against corresponding negative developments regarding the proposals by the EU Commission for a change to biofuel policies and potential extension of the double counting as well as the introduction of a fourfold counting.

At any rate, an equally worrying decline in biodiesel from rapeseed oil is also discernible according to UFOP. According to the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), the sale of rapeseed oil by German oil mills to supply Biodiesel producers fell to just 1 million tonnes in 2012. That was 426,000 tonnes less than the previous year and 787,000 tonnes less than 2010 even. Above all in the first half of the year, hardly any rapeseed oil was sold. The UFOP also sees this as evidence that buyers increasingly prefer biodiesel from waste oil for the apportionment to the quota obligation.

You can find further information on the sales development in the current UFOP market information on oilseeds and biofuels here.