Rapeseed King of Europe’s Biodiesel Feedstock

John Davis

Soybeans might rule the roost as far as biodiesel feedstocks in the U.S. goes, but in Europe, rapeseed is king. A new study from the UFOP (Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e.V. – Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants) shows that rapeseed makes up nearly 90 percent of the material used to produce biodiesel in winter.
UFOP has established that the high content of rapeseed oil in the biodiesel sampling is attributable not least to the decline of the rapeseed oil price after the 2013 harvest. According to information from the Agricultural Information Service (AMI), at the current price of 700 EUR per ton, a price level has been reached at which the processing of imported palm oil (638 EUR/t CIF Rotterdam – see UFOP market information “Oil Seeds and Biofuels” 02/2004) is not necessarily economical. Furthermore, the levying of punitive duties on biodiesel against Indonesia and Argentina has a decreasing effect on the imports from these countries. The increased demand from the domestic and European biodiesel industry for European rapeseed oil has, however, not yet been able to bring about a positive change of direction in the rapeseed oil price, the reason obviously being the huge worldwide supply quantities of vegetable oils.

The study sampled 60 fillings stations belonging to mineral oil companies throughout Germany. Officials admit they cannot detect the amount of used waste oils or animal fats used in the biodiesel.

Biodiesel, International