Brazil could allow imported raw material for… – BNamericas English

Brazil could allow imported raw material for biodiesel production – BNamericas

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Brazil could allow imported raw material for biodiesel production

The Brazilian government could allow biodiesel producers to use imported raw material in biofuel that will be offered at an auction next month.

The oil, natural gas and biofuels regulator (ANP) will hold its 77th biofuels auction on December 4. 

The import alternative has been “positively evaluated by the ANP” due to the strong restriction of soybean availability in the country, the regulator said last week in a notice about the auction.

Any decision to import raw material must also be authorized by the national energy policy council (CNPE), which is linked to the mines and energy ministry (MME). 

At the end of last month, MME asked ANP to evaluate the import option. 

In the document to which BNamericas was granted access, oil, gas and biofuels secretary José Mauro Ferreira Coelho said this year’s depreciation of the Brazilian real against the US dollar combined with the COVID-19 pandemic had increased soybean exports, threatening the mandatory 12% biodiesel mix in diesel fuel. 

Despite the recent temporary reduction of the mix to 11%, the imbalance between supply and demand of biodiesel resulted in price increases in the last biodiesel auctions held by ANP.    

“MME is favorable to the import of raw material for biodiesel production, in an exceptional and temporary manner, (…) as of the 77th biodiesel auction, seeking to (…) guarantee the national supply of diesel and protect the interest of consumers,” Ferreira wrote. 

BNamericas asked the ministry when CNPE would discuss the matter but it would not comment on the matter. 

ANP’s press office told BNamericas that the agency is monitoring the issue and that it has the necessary tools to ensure the supply balance, including reduction of the mandatory mix percentage.  

Brazil’s association of biodiesel producers (Ubrabio) said it would not issue comments before CNPE’s decision. 

In an article published on its website last month, the association said it understood the government’s decision to reduce the minimum mandatory percentage of biodiesel due to the country’s scarcity of biofuel raw material. 

“The market now awaits the approval of the use of imported raw material for biodiesel production in order to guarantee the normal development of the 77th auction, designed to supply the market in the first two months of 2021,” said Ubrabio president Juan Diego Ferrés in the article.

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