Spanish biodiesel July sales surge on year, ethanol down: CORES

London (Platts)--12 Sep 2017 916 am EDT/1316 GMT

Spanish biodiesel consumption surged 18.5% on the year and 0.9% on the month to 99,571 mt in July, data released Tuesday by Spain's strategic oil reserves corporation CORES showed.

Ethanol consumption fell both on the month and the year, losing 19.0% and 17.0% respectively, to 17,666 mt in July.

Biodiesel sales outpaced those of diesel on the year, and ticked upwards on the month. Ethanol sales fell both on the month and year as gasoline consumption rose over both periods.

Diesel consumption rose 1.8% on the year in July to 2.05 million mt, but fell 0.9% from June 2017.

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This left the biodiesel incorporation rate up at 4.86% on a volumetric basis, from 4.77% in June and 4.17% in July 2016.

Gasoline consumption rose 3.8% from June and 0.2% from July 2016, to 455,463 mt in July 2017. As a result, the ethanol incorporation rate fell to 3.88% in July, from 4.97% a month earlier, and 4.68% a year earlier.

On January 1, 2017, Spain raised its blending mandate for biofuels to 5% from 4.3% on a volumetric basis. This raised expectations biofuel consumption would rise over the course of the year.

As the Spanish market consumes more diesel than gasoline, the volume of biodiesel used is much greater than ethanol, but the biodiesel blending rate tends to be slightly lower due to the greater greenhouse gas savings offered.

For the year to date, the blending rate for ethanol was 5.20%, up from 5.16% a year earlier, reflecting the increasing mandate. But it was down from 6.09% over the same period in 2015.

The biodiesel blending rate for the year to date has been 4.72% on a volumetric basis, lower than that of ethanol. But this reflected a greater total volume consumed. In 2016, over the same period, the biodiesel incorporation rate was 4.25%, largely unchanged from the 4.26% from Jan-Jul 2015.

Biofuel blending has increased compared with 2016, but there is still space to rise to meet the 5% blending mandate, with only 4.80% of biofuel blended across both ethanol and biodiesel on a volume basis so far in 2017.

--George Griffiths,
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell,

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