Chinese exports of used cooking oil (UCO) to Singapore have jumped to a record level, Bloomberg reported.

According to Chinese customs data, Singapore imported 48,832 tonnes of UCO from China in May – an 18% increase compared to April and almost double the volume recorded in the same period the previous year.

The rise in Singapore’s UCO imports was likely to be due to increased demand from Neste’s recently expanded renewable fuel refinery in the country, industry sources were quoted as saying in the 22 June report.

Following its expansion the Singapore refinery had a production capacity of 1.3M tonnes/year, including 1M tonnes of SAF, according to the Finnish renewable fuels producer’s website.

Global demand for green diesel and jet fuel was increasing as governments and industries set out to de-carbonise, Bloomberg wrote. China exported a record 1.58M tonnes of UCO last year, while shipments from Malaysia and Indonesia also increased.

The jump in Chinese exports to Singapore followed pledges by Chinese biodiesel producers to improve compliance and export standards after European rivals had called for action to stem “potentially fraudulent” shipments, the report said.

China’s sales of methyl ester – a biodiesel feedstock made from UCO – to Europe had surged, amid claims the fuels could have been mixed and mislabelled, Bloomberg wrote.

According to customs data, China’s UCO exports totalled 151,428 tonnes in May – a 9% increase compared to the previous month. Shipments to the USA increased by 46%, with sales to Singapore and the USA accounting for more than 70% of Chinese exports, while most of the remainder went to Europe.

Most Chinese UCO exports to Singapore and the USA would be used to produce hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), the report said.