OPIS BIOFUELS UPDATE: U.S. Biodiesel Monthly Imports in July Hit Second-Highest Level on Record

U.S. biodiesel imports in July rose for a sixth straight month, soaring to the second-highest monthly total on record, according to an OPIS analysis of U.S. Census Bureau trade data released Friday by the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service Global Agricultural Trade System.

July imports of biodiesel totaled 71.52 million gal, rising 9.2% from June to the largest level since December 2013 when imports hit a record 77.79 million gal. The July volumes were up 43.5% from year-ago levels, rising sharply from the July 2015 total of 49.85 million gal.

With the added incentives of the $1/gal biodiesel blenders tax credit alongside swelling prices of biomass-based diesel (D4) Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), the window of opportunity for imports has remained wide open throughout 2016.

Through the first seven months of 2016, U.S. biodiesel imports have totaled 274.42 million gal, up 66.07% from the same period in 2015. Imports are already more than 77% of their 2015 total of 355.53 million gal.

More than 70% of July imports originated in Argentina, totaling 50.22 million gal for the month. So far in 2016, U.S. imports from Argentina have totaled 157.03 million gal, thanks not only to the added U.S. incentives but also to a lower excise export tax placed on the fuel by the Argentine government. Through the first seven months of 2016, product from Argentina has made up 57.2% of total U.S. biodiesel imports.

Behind Argentina, imports from Indonesia totaled 9.99 million gal in July and have amounted to 54.09 million gal through the first seven months of 2016. In third place, Canada sent 8.65 million gal to the U.S. in July, bringing year-to- date totals to 50.58 million gal.

Alongside the blender’s tax incentive, firm RINs prices have strongly supported biodiesel imports.

Of the 1.95 billion biomass-based diesel (D4) RINs generated through the first seven months of 2016, 467.09 million RINs have been designated as importer or foreign produced, combining for more than 24% of the total share through July, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data show.

–Jordan Godwin, jgodwin@opisnet.com
Copyright, Oil Price Information Service

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