Renewable diesel consumption is set to overtake biodiesel in the USA for the first time this year, representing a milestone not just for the domestic fuel sector but also for global edible oil markets, Reuters wrote.

US renewable diesel production capacity expanded by more than 90% this year to 2.1bn gallons (7.9bn litres), from 11 facilities in the US Gulf coast region and western states, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In comparison, biodiesel production totalled just under 2.1bn gallons (7.9bn litres) at 72 plants spread more evenly across the USA.

Further increases in renewable diesel production capacity were expected in the near term, with the EIA projecting capacity to increase to 5.1bn gallons/year (19.3bn litres/year) by 2024, compared to less than 1bn gallons/year (3.7bn litres/year) in 2020.

The rapid growth in renewable diesel production would have a significant effect on the main renewable diesel feedstock markets – mainly soyabean oil – in the USA, Reuters wrote in the 8 November.

Biofuel production currently accounts for more than 40% of total US soyabean oil demand, according to the report, with its share of consumption share expected to rise further as more renewable diesel production increases.