At 124 million gallons, January biodiesel production was down 16 percent from December but up 33 percent from January 2017. Producers used 462 million pounds of soybean oil, down 22 percent from December and up 19 percent from a year ago. Season to date, 2017/18 soybean oil utilization totaled 2.224 billion pounds or 31 percent of USDA’s current projection for this marketing year.
After a very bullish increase in forecast 2017/18 soybean oil utilization for biodiesel back in December, USDA lowered its estimate last month to 7.2 billion pounds from 7.5 billion—still a 16 percent increase from 2016/17, if realized—because the industry is using larger volumes of other feedstocks, such as corn and canola oils.
U.S. biodiesel production in February tends to remain near January’s volume before increasing steadily through June. Biodiesel imports from Argentina are effectively cut off, supporting U.S. biodiesel production and solid soybean oil use, even with competition from other feedstocks.
Monthly biodiesel production