On 14th September, the European Parliament voted to ban the use of both soyabean oil and palm oil as feedstocks for biodiesel production from 2023. While the initial phase-out date was set for 2030, the decision by lawmakers to bring forward the start date was due to rising environmental concerns, as both crops have been linked to deforestation. This decision has had mixed reactions from various NGOs and industries because the current global food crisis has tightened supplies of alternative oils (sunflower and rapeseed).
According to the September USDA report, EU sunflower oil production for the upcoming 2022/23 marketing year (MY) (Oct ’22-Sept ’23) is forecast to rise slightly by 1.9% year-on-year (y-o-y), to 4.5 million tonnes. However, imports are expected to decline by 20.9% y-o-y, due to lower y-o-y output from Ukraine which is a top sunflower oil producer and exporter. Similarly, EU rapeseed oil production is estimated to rise by 4.4% y-o-y, to 9.6 million tonnes, for the 2022/23 MY (July ’22-June ’23) with imports down by 15.7% y-o-y, to 500,000 metric tonnes.
The Mintec Benchmark Prices (MBP) for Sunflower oil 6 ports options was last assessed at EUR 1,285/MT on 21st September (-12.5% month-on-month (m-o-m)), while the MBP for Rapeseed Oil FOB Rotterdam stood at EUR 1,315/MT (-14.6% m-o-m) on the same day. The new directive to phase out the use of soyabean and palm oil in biodiesel from 2023 could further strain the supply of sunflower oil and rapeseed oil, in turn leading to higher prices.