Feb 27, 2023

Brazil's Biodiesel Blend Percentage to be Determined in March

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The Brazilian Minister of Mines and Energy recently announced that the percentage of vegetable oil blended into biodiesel will be determined at a meeting of the CNPE (the National Energy Policy Council) to be held in March.

Biodiesel producers had hoped that a decision would be made in February to take effect in March. The current blend is 10% (B10) and it is widely believed that it will be increased to 15% (B15) in March. Biodiesel producers say a decision is urgently needed to give time for the sector to plan the volume of soybeans they need to process to produce soybean oil which accounts for 65.7% of the vegetable oil used in biodiesel.

The industry has been fighting for this increase for several years. The prior administration reduced the blend from 12% (B12) to 10% (B10) in in 2021 due to a disappointing soybean crop and near record high prices for soybean oil. Brazil's biofuel program called for a B12 mixture in 2021, a B14 mixture in 2022 and B15 in 2023. From that point forward, it was scheduled to increase on a yearly basis.

As more soybean oil is used for biodiesel, more soybean meal will also be produced and used in animal rations. Additionally, as companies increase their soybean crushing, there will be less soybeans available for export.

Soybean crushers had expanded their capacity in the past in anticipation of a higher blend percentage only to be disappointed when the blend percentage was lowered instead of increased. The biodiesel producers contend they have the current capacity to meet a B20 blend.