London — Spanish ethanol consumption surged 22.5% on the month and 2.5% on the year to 21,646 mt in August, data released Friday by Spain's strategic oil reserves corporation CORES shows.
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In contrast, biodiesel consumption fell 5.5% on the month, but rose 9.9% on the year to 94,030 mt.
Biofuel consumption in Spain broadly followed trends in gasoline and diesel, although the monthly ethanol increase strongly outpaced the rise in gasoline consumption, albeit from particularly low levels of ethanol consumption in July.
Gasoline consumption rose 2.6% on the month and 1.7% on the year to 467,389 mt. This took the ethanol incorporation rate to 4.63% on a volume basis, from 3.88% in July and 4.60% in August 2016.
Diesel consumption totaled 1,990,850 mt, 2.9% lower on the month and 0.8% higher on the year. This brought the incorporation rate down on the month to 4.72% from 4.85% in July, but represented a firm increase from 4.33% the year before.
Increased biofuel consumption over the course of the year was not unexpected because from January 1 Spain raised its blending mandate for biofuels to 5% from 4.3% on a volumetric basis.
As the Spanish market consumes more diesel than gasoline, the volume of biodiesel used is much greater than ethanol, but the biodiesel blending rate tends to be slightly lower due to the greater greenhouse gas savings offered.
Over January-August, ethanol consumption amounted to 166,542 mt resulting in a blending rate of 5.11%, up from 5.08% a year earlier.
The equivalent for biodiesel was 725,453 mt consumed from January to August 2017, with the blending rate at 4.70% on a volumetric basis, up from 4.26% a year earlier.