U.S. biodiesel producers manufactured 1.73 billion gallons in 2019, down from 1.86 billion in 2018. Production was lower YOY during eight months of the year and dipped sharply during Q4.
December biodiesel production was 133 million gallons, up 5 percent from November but down 21 percent from December 2018.
Producers used 541 million pounds of soybean oil, bringing total 2019 utilization to 7.32 billion pounds, a 3 percent decline from 2018 use. Soybean oil was the feedstock for over 56 percent of 2019’s biodiesel.
Corn oil utilization in 2019 fell 16 percent YOY to 1.76 billion pounds, while the volume of yellow grease declined 13 percent to 1.45 billion. We estimate canola oil use was down 1 to 2 percent from 2018.
Biodiesel production tends to increase during Mar-Jun, and the reinstatement of the blending credit may support a recovery in production this year. However, current U.S. consumption of biodiesel is closely matched with production. Sales of B100 for use in blends totaled 985 million gallons in 2019, down 10 percent from 2018, while stocks at the end of December, at 49 million gallons, were up 11 percent, or 5 million gallons, from December 2018. Still, the U.S. imported over 168 million gallons of biodiesel in 2019, 2 percent more than 2018’s volume, which may indicate some room for growth in domestic production if economics are favorable.
Biodiesel production vs. consumption
McKeany-Flavell estimate for December 2019 consumption
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