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New in SONAR: Monthly Biodiesel consumption, production, stocks, imports and exports

Image:Jim Allen/FreightWaves

This week’s addition of biodiesel data in our SONAR platform is part of building out the new environmental category. Biodiesel data, in combination with the existing energy data, can give insights to energy demand and demand for the different types of fuels. 

Biodiesel is growing in the fuels market as a “greener” alternative to diesel, with minor modifications needed to use it. Biodiesel not only emits fewer carbon emissions, it also creates less particulate matter and fewer sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. Furthermore, it can be used in place of diesel, and producing it is cleaner. 

As new regulations take place, biodiesel will likely become a viable option for diesel consumers. Leading into 2020, cheaper alternatives like biodiesel will see an increase in demand, which will drive production.

How will SONAR users benefit?

The fuel markets are changing as new regulations limit emissions or the types of fuel being used. As the demand for ultra low sulfur diesel goes up, the limited supply drives up prices and drives demand for alternatives. 

Using the biodiesel data, SONAR users can begin to understand the demands for an alternative to diesel. This begins at the basic production and consumption level, then moves to the stock, or what is being stored and what is being taken out, and the imports and exports. Understanding this movement allows for the user to understand the market and make educated decisions on what their company’s needs are. 

Production and consumption

Below is the SONAR chart for biodiesel production in Barrels, being compared to consumption in the transportation industry in Brittish Thermal Units. Here the user can see the growth in consumption of biodiesel and the leveled, at capacity production of biodiesel. Consuming the biodiesel requires a heated tank, however, since it gels at higher temperatures than fossil-diesel.


Stocks and changes in stock

These SONAR indices show the amount of biodiesel being stored once it has been produced. Starting in March of 2019, more biodiesel is being consumed than being produced. The stock change shows more being pulled from storage than being put into storage. Also, the biodiesel stocks show the amount of barrels stored decreasing. Biodiesel being stored underground in tanks has to be a certain blend. 


Imports and exports

Imports and exports of biodiesel are a way to measure where demand is going, in terms of within the United States or outside of the country. In May, the U.S. became an exporter of biodiesel after years of negative net exports, or primarily importing more biodiesel. As more production occurs, the U.S. will continue to expand exports. 


These are just a few of the new insights you can generate from within the SONAR platform based on the new biodiesel data just released, so stay tuned for more as we provide more insights into alternative fuel options.