UK-headquartered commodity news and price reporting agency Argus launched new price assessments on 2 February for used cooking oil (UCO) and UCO methyl ester (UCOME) imported from China to Europe.

The launch came as a response to growing imports of relatively cheap Chinese UCO and UCOME to feed Europe’s biodiesel industry, which was increasingly moving towards producing second generation biodiesel derived from waste materials, Argus said.

The new assessments reflected the market prices of UCO and UCOME shipped to Europe from Shanghai, Suzhou and Huangpu in China and were calculated using a “market-appropriate methodology” that complied with Iosco Principles for Price Reporting Agencies, Argus added.

“These new assessments will provide increased insight into this growing supply source from China,” said Argus Media chair and CEO Adrian Binks.

European imports of UCO grew to 42,000 tonnes between January and October 2017, a whopping 500% increase from the 7,000 tonnes registered a year earlier.

Meanwhile, UCOME imports had grown from 8,000 tonnes in 2015 to 36,000 tonnes in 2016 and finally 150,000 tonnes by October 2017, marking a 1,775% increase in only two years.

Argus said more Chinese sellers had been approved by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC), which was a requirement for European exports, meaning that more material was available.