Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rare Biodiesel Import to the U.S. from Australia Detected

biodiesel imports from Australia

On April 27, 2016, Genscape Vesseltracker detected a shipment of 4,200 tons (about 1.3 million gallons) of biodiesel from Australia arriving at the Texas Terminals Wharf in the Houston area. The Stolt Sun vessel carried the product that originated from the ports of Adelaide and Fremantle in Australia.

According to data from the EIA, the U.S. hasn’t seen imports of biodiesel from Australia since January 2013, and the shipments from Australia have only occasionally occurred in the EIA’s recorded history (February 2012 and May 2011). 

What is interesting about Australian biodiesel imports?

According to the 2015 USDA FAS GAIN report, Australia only produced about 17 million gallons of biodiesel in 2014. When the report was issued in August 2015, the expectation was that there would be 26 million gallons produced in 2015. The USDA also reported that only four of the eight biodiesel plants in Australia were operating at that time.

Genscape Vesseltracker tracking of an Australian biodiesel import to the U.S.
Genscape Vesseltracker tracking of an Australian biodiesel import to the U.S. Click to enlarge
U.S. imports would suggest little Australian demand for biodiesel and favorable economics stateside with the current regulatory incentives, even with the nearly two-month journey.

What are the potential implications?

The Blender’s Tax Credit, increased Renewable Fuel Standard volumes, and the value of Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits are driving increased U.S. consumption of biodiesel in 2016. A big question for the industry is how much of that will come from non-U.S. versus U.S. sources. Seeing another source of imports that wasn’t in the market in 2014 and 2015 could be an indication of the strength of imports in fulfilling increased demand.

Using Genscape Vesseltracker AIS data and proprietary ship tracking, the Global Biodiesel Monitor provides stakeholders with access to key international shipment information to deliver a more complete picture of biodiesel and renewable diesel flows worldwide. To be in the know about U.S. imports of biodiesel and renewable diesel in this pivotal year for advanced biofuels, contact Genscape for a free trial to the Global Biodiesel Imports Monitor. With your trial subscription, you will discover the consignee that received the Australian shipments and all other biodiesel and renewable diesel imports. Click here to learn more or request your free trial now.

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