Finnish biofuel producer Neste announced that its renewable products business set a record sales volume in the second quarter of this year, Biodiesel reported on 28 July.

“Despite the market turbulence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Neste’s performance was solid during the second quarter,” Neste president and CEO Peter Vanacker said in the company’s second quarter report.

Our renewable products business proved to be very resilient and reached a quarterly sales volume record.”

Neste said its renewable products segment had achieved €314M (US$396M) in operating profit in the second quarter, up from €286M (US$338M) in 2019.

“The renewable diesel demand remained good, and our sales volume reached a record 773,000 tonnes,” Vanacker said.

Neste’s renewable diesel plants had operated at an average capacity rate of 90% during the quarter, down from 105% during the same quarter last year.

Feedstock markets had remained very tight during the quarter, according to Neste.

During the second quarter, approximately 71% of the company’s renewable products sales volumes had been sold into the European market, up from 65% during the same period of 2019.

Approximately 29% of sales volumes had been delivered to the North American market, down from 35%.

Looking forward, Neste said it expected the COVID-19 pandemic to lead to high volatility in the oils products and renewable feedstock markets.

However, sales volumes of renewable diesel were expected to remain relatively stable in the third quarter despite the impact of the pandemic.

Neste expected the waste and residue feedstock markets to remain tight and although global availability of used cooking oil had gradually recovered during the second quarter, it still remained below pre-COVID-19 levels.

Overall, Neste reported €255M (US$301.45M) in operating profit for the second quarter, down from €367M (US$433.85M) during the same period last year. Operating profit was €208M (US$245.88), down from €359M (US$424.39).