Rising demand for biofuels in the EU will provide the impetus for greater imports of oilseeds in the next six years, according to a medium-term market study from the European Commission.
Imports of oilseeds are expected to total 19.6 million tonnes this year, climbing 19.9% to 23.5 million tonnes by 2012. Of this, imports for use in bioenergy would rise from 7.5 million tonnes in 2006 to 9.9 million tonnes in 2012. This would mean 42% of imports would be destined for fuel use, compared with 38% currently.
Imports are expected to rise in spite of EU efforts to grow more oilseeds as the higher production will not meet demand, said the report. It put production at 21.7 million tonnes this year from 20.4 million tonnes in 2005, rising to 26.8 million tonnes in 2012.
The oilseed growing area is expected to expand to 7.3 million hectares in 2012 from 6.8 million hectares this year. In terms of yields, the EC expects that rapeseed will see the greatest rise, while those of soybeans and sunflower likely will remain stable.
The EC’s recently released biofuels strategy three main aims are to promote biofuel use in the EU and developing countries, increase the use of biofuels by making them more financially competitive and to increase research into new and more efficient fuels.
Source: soyatech.com Feb. 27, 2006.