The world is seeing less of American tallow as biodiesel makers turn more of the animal grease into the green fuel. This article from Bloomberg says U.S. tallow exports are expected to fall nearly 4 percent because the biodiesel market is squeezing the supply and keeping the price up:
Tallow shipments from the U.S. may decline to 680,000 metric tons in 2013 from 706,000 tons last year, the Hamburg-based industry researcher wrote in an e-mailed report. They’ve dropped from a record 1.32 million tons in 1998, Oil World said.
Tallow is a by-product of beef production, meaning supply is not price sensitive, according to the report. Use of the fat to make biodiesel jumped 60 percent in the past two years, requiring demand rationing in chemistry and for edible purposes.
“Virtually stagnating world supplies and the increasing consumption from the biodiesel industry have considerably squeezed supplies available for other consumers,” Oil World said. “We expect this trend to continue in 2014, keeping tallow prices well supported.”
Around the world, biodiesel is credited with helping push up tallow use to 1.6 million tons last year from 1 million tons in 2010.