Port of Rotterdam announces ethanol throughput reduction

By Erin Voegele | March 22, 2013

The Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s main port for the handling, storage and production of biofuels, has reported that overall biofuel volumes increased substantially in 2012, the throughput of ethanol dropped when compared to 2011 statistics.

The port’s total throughput of biofuels increased 24 percent in 2012, reaching 5.9 million metric tons. However, that increase is mainly attributed to biodiesel. While the import and export volumes of biodiesel both increased, by a total of 1.5 million metric tons, the throughput of ethanol dropped by 17 percent. 

According to information released by the Port of Rotterdam, the throughput of ethanol peaked in 2008, but dropped to 1.4 million tons in 2012. The decrease is attributed mainly to the change in the amount of ethanol discharged from the United States, which dropped by more than a third.

Although imports from the U.S. dropped, imports from France increased by 100,000 metric tons. The U.K. was the primary destination for ethanol exported from France.

Data released by the port shows that 1.1 million metric tons of ethanol was discharged from the port in 2011, with 600,000 metric tons loaded during the same year. In 2012 the amount of ethanol discharged dropped to 700,000 metric tons, with 700,000 metric tons loaded.

The throughput of ethanol was only 200,000 metric tons in 2002, increasing to 2.4 million metric tons in 2008. In 2009, the ethanol throughput dropped to 2.2 million metric tons, and reached 2 million metric tons in 2010. The decrease continued in 2011, with a throughput of 1.7 million metric tons. In 2012, ethanol throughput dropped again to 1.4 million metric tons.