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Biofuel Production - Greater Shares of Commodities Used

17 June 2010

The shares of the different agricultural commodities used for ethanol and biodiesel production (molasses, vegetable oil, coarse grains, sugar beet, wheat and sugar cane) in global production are expected to increase strongly over the projection period, accordign to the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook report.

The evolution of ethanol production by feedstock over the projection period shows that the major feedstock for ethanol production should remain coarse grains. The use of coarse grains for ethanol production should grow relatively less after 2015 when the mandate for Conventional Renewable Fuels reaches its maximum in the US.

Almost 40% of the increase in global ethanol production should be due to the increase in the production of ethanol based on sugar cane, mainly from Brazil, to meet both domestic and US demands.

Biomass based second generation ethanol is only expected to develop in the latter years of the projection period, representing about 7% of total ethanol production. Roots and tubers and molasses are expected to be used as feedstocks for ethanol production in developing countries. Wheat, coarse grains and sugar beet should be used in the European Union to produce ethanol.

Edible vegetable oil is expected to remain the major feedstock used to produce biodiesel. However, its share in total biodiesel production should decrease from almost 90% over the base to about 75% by 2019. This is due to the development of the production of biodiesel based on jatropha mainly in India, to the increasing use of animal fats to produce biodiesel in the US and to the availability of biomass based second generation biodiesel in the latter years of the projection period. Biomass based biodiesel should represent almost 6.5% of total biodiesel production by 2019.

Biofuel use represents an important share of global cereal, sugar and vegetable oil production. By 2019, about 13% of the global production of coarse grains will be used to produce ethanol compared to 9% over the base. 16% of the global production of vegetable oil will be used to produce biodiesel compared to 9% over the base.

The share of sugar cane to be used for ethanol production at the worldwide level is expected to reach almost 35% in 2019.

June 2010

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