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US May biodiesel production climbs on month: EIA

Highlights

Tax credit continues to boost production

More B100 sold than biodiesel as a blend

Houston — US biodiesel production rose 3 million gallons month on month to 147 million gallons in May, according to US Energy Information Administration data released July 31.

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Though higher on the month, it remained below March's 151 million gallons total. Output was down 8 million gallons compared with May 2019.

The return of the $1/gal blender's tax credit continued to bolster economics for producers and kept some plants running even as consumption fell due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Internal Revenue Service said it could take several months to receive reimbursements for biodiesel volumes in previous years. As producers received those reimbursements, they were able to keep production online.

In May, 69 million gallons of biodiesel were sold as a blend, while 71 million gallons were sold as pure B100. It was the first time that more biodiesel was sold as B100 than a blend since December 2016.

Inventories rose by 2 million gallons to 59 million gallons.

Soybean oil remained the largest feedstock by a wide margin, but more canola oil was used for biodiesel production than corn oil for the second consecutive month. Corn oil use declined amid ethanol plant shutdowns due to the pandemic.

US biodiesel feedstock use, million pounds

Canola oil

Corn oil

Soybean oil

January

109

177

521

February

93

134

575

March

131

145

656

April

138

84

672

May

130

84

778

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