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Chinese biodiesel demand from Europe remains low: Report

Singapore’s B24-LSMGO and B24-VLSFO prices have risen by $16-19/mt, despite a $5/mt drop in the UCOME FOB China benchmark, as reported by PRIMA Markets, reported MFAME.

Unlike Singapore, Rotterdam witnessed a decrease in bio-bunker prices over the past week. Consequently, Singapore’s B24-VLSFO discount to Rotterdam’s B30-VLSFO HBE has narrowed significantly from $45/mt to $12/mt during the same period. Though these are different blend ratios, they serve as benchmarks for comparing the lowest-priced typical biofuel blends in the world’s two largest bunker ports.

PRIMA notes that Chinese biodiesel buying interest from European buyers remains low due to the risks of EU import duties. Some biodiesel producers in China are even scaling back production amid ongoing investigations. The European Biodiesel Board (EBB) has expressed concerns, stating that “the EU biodiesel industry may not survive 2024 if left unprotected from Chinese unfair imports.”

In response, the European biodiesel association has urged the European Commission to immediately register imports from China until provisional import duties are imposed. Some speculate that Chinese UCO may find its way into Singapore due to EU duties on Chinese biodiesel imports, potentially exerting downward pressure on bio-bunker prices in Singapore. Last week, demand for biofuel blends in Singapore remained limited, according to two sources. Availability in the port has been normal, with recommended lead times of at least 10 days to ensure full coverage from suppliers. The premiums for biofuel over pure conventional fuels stand at $117/mt for the B24-VLSFO blend and $88/mt for B24-LSMGO, widening by $17-18/mt in the past week.

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