Trade and markets


United States of America
Commodity Group
Policy Category
Renewable energy
Policy Instrument
Biofuel policy
Proposed the blending mandates for renewable fuels in 2019 and 2020, entailing i) increases in \'cellulosic biofuel\' and \'advanced biofuel\' volumes in 2019; ii) unchanged levels of \'conventional\' biofuels in 2019; and iii) a moderate increase for \'biomass-based diesel\' targets in 2020.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed its target for ‘biomass-based diesel’ in 2020 (see also MPPU Dec.’17). The proposed 2.43 billion gallons blending mandate compares to a volume of 2.1 billion gallons applied in both 2018 and 2019. Furthermore, EPA proposed a 2019 target for the ‘advanced biofuel’ category – for which biodiesel also qualifies – of 4.88 billion gallons, which compares to a 2018 mandate of 4.29 billion gallons. The proposed increases would lead to rising demand for soybean oil and other biodiesel feedstock. As for the other biofuel categories, EPA proposed to keep the 2019 target for ‘conventional biofuel’ (mostly ethanol derived from maize starch) frozen at 2015 levels, while significantly raising mandatory blending of ‘cellulosic biofuel’. EPA’s deadline for issuing the final volumes is 30 November. Regarding the proposal for biomass-based diesel, the country’s biodiesel producers had called for a 2020 volume of at least 2.8 billion gallons. The industry also urged EPA to reduce the uncertainty it caused by issuing retroactive small-refiner hardship exemptions. In this regard, the National Biodiesel Board estimated that the exemptions granted in 2016 and 2017 reduced actual demand for biodiesel by 375 million gallons. However, EPA has decided against reallocating exempt volumes.