The Netherlands was the European Union (EU)’s leading biodiesel exporter in the first nine months of last year, according to Eurostat data reported by Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Plants and Protein (UFOP).

Despite a drop of 9% compared to the same period the previous year, the Netherlands was the top EU exporter with total exports of 3.1M tonnes of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), the 26 January report said.

Belgium, with exports totalling 1.8M tonnes – a 5% drop compared to the same period the previous year – was the EU’s second largest exporter.

With exports within the EU totalling 1.6M tonnes, Germany was the third largest biodiesel exporter in the bloc .

According to analysis of the data by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft, Germany exported around 9% more biodiesel (FAME) to other EU member states in the period compared to the same period the previous year.

In that period, the Netherlands was the main market for biodiesel exports from Germany, importing 742,000 tonnes.

German exports of UCOME – biodiesel made from used cooking oil (UCO) – to other EU countries increased by around 17% to 8,000 tonnes.

Meanwhile, Germany biodiesel imports from the Netherlands in the period increased by 12% year-on-year to 706,000 tonnes.

German exports of used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) to other EU countries totalled 228,000 tonnes, an increase of around 17%. The Netherlands was the largest recipient, importing 182,000 tonnes from Germany.

UFOP has called for hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) volumes – an important sector for Germany – to be included in official statistics.

“HVO has become an important option for meeting quota obligations not only in Germany, but also in other member states. The UFOP has noted that the number of HVO producers is increasing both in the EU and worldwide … and this trend is set to continue,” UFOP said.

With no official statistics for HVO available, the UFOP quoted from the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE)’s Evaluation and Progress Report that in 2022 Germany’s HVO imports totalled 385,000 tonnes from waste oils and 90,000 tonnes from palm oil for crediting towards greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction quotas.

The percentage of this total that could be double counted due to being classified as waste in accordance with Part A of Annex IX of the RED II was not known and had not been published, UFOP said.