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Biodiesel Production Hits Record Highs as Demand and Adoption Surge

Biodiesel Production Hits Record Highs as Demand and Adoption Surge

Global biodiesel production has hit record levels, and the trends show continued growth across the industry. The increase further signals increasing biofuel adoption and usage within practically all market sectors.

The data comes from the International Grains Council (IGC) as reported by Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants, or UFOP. According to IGC estimates, total biodiesel, HVO-inclusive, has reached 71.5 million tons. The figure reflects an 11% increase from last year's data.

By the end of 2024, production is estimated to hit 76.3 million tons—a 7% increase year-over-year.

EU Remains Top Biodiesel Producer with Production Jumps in US, China, and Brazil

Like the previous year, the EU remains the top world producer of biodiesel. However, the total output has not changed much from last year’s amounts.

The primary growth lies in North America, South America, and Asia. Brazil, Indonesia, and the US are the countries currently leading production.

These three countries now output about 60% of total global biodiesel volumes. This shows an immense growth from the 35% global market share they held just 10 years ago.

The US has focused its efforts on biodiesel and HVO. We’ve seen this as the country's output vaulted up to 20 million tons since 2020. By the end of the year, it will grow to 21 million tons.

Soybean Oil and Soybean Meal Essential to Biodiesel

To power this increase in biodiesel, soybean crops play a critical role as feedstocks.

Soybean oil helps to power the industry, especially in North and South America. But it’s actually soybean meal that is allowing such impressive growth in the biodiesel industry.

Based on data from German research firm Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), soybean meal costs around €420 per ton. Conversely, soybean oil currently trades at over double the meal at €935 a ton in Germany.

Soybean meal’s high protein content of 80% within the bean makes it a highly demanded resource for multiple applications, biodiesel included. Demand for the feedstock has also driven soybean oil supplies upward to a record 6.4 million tons in 2024/2025 (compared to 5.9 million tons in 2023).

The higher supply will yield greater growth in the soybean industry, further strengthening its role in the biofuel market.

Global Biofuel Demand Also Sees Significant Uptick

Growth within the biodiesel market is unsurprising considering the level of demand the broader biofuels market has experienced.

According to data from the IEA, biofuel demand is set to surge nearly 30% over the next five years to 200 billion liters. Renewable diesel and ethanol lead the pack in demand with biojet fuel close behind.

The majority of the current demand stems from emerging economic areas such as India, Indonesia, and Brazil. These countries' shifting biofuel policies have opened up the markets significantly.

In more established economic regions such as the EU, US, and Japan, total volume growth is less rapid. High costs for biofuel production and improvements in automotive efficiency have curbed some of this growth. The rising market share of electric vehicles has also played a role.

Read More: Biofuel Market Shows Some Slowdown with Big Focus on SAF

While current market conditions have relaxed somewhat, the industry is poised for a surge thanks to this immense demand push and biofuel blending requirements. Tax incentives from some governments will also further push production and adoption of biofuels.

In the US, for instance, many biofuel producers are calling for broader production volumes ahead of this anticipated need. They say that an increase in volume within the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) must expand to allow the industry to grow to scale.

Read More: Open Letter to EPA Calls for Increased RFS Volumes for 2026

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