Report: Biofuel consumption in Australia remains minimal in 2022

By Erin Voegele | January 24, 2023

Biofuel consumption in Australia remained low in 2022. Despite new fuel standards introduced for gasoline on Jan. 1, 2022, the ethanol blend rate did not increase, according to a report filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network. Biodiesel consumption is also very low.

According to the report, Australia currently has only three ethanol plants, a number that has held stable for at least a decade. Capacity has also remained stable at 440 million liter (116.24 million gallons). Capacity use was at 39.8 percent last year, flat with both 2020 and 2021.

Australia produced 175 million liters of ethanol last year, flat with both 2021 and 2021, but down from 317 million liters in 2017, 273 million liters in 2018 and 239 million liters in 2019.

Wheat is the primary feedstock used for ethanol production in Australia, at 369,000 metric tons last year. Ethanol producers also consumed 122 million liters of molasses in 2022.

Australia did not import or export any ethanol in 2022. The country consumed 175 million liters of ethanol annually in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Ethanol accounted for 1.1 percent of gasoline use in all three years.

Australia also currently has three biodiesel facilities, flat with 2020 and 2021, but up from two facilities in 2019. Nameplate capacity remained at 107 million liters for the past three years, up from 50 million liters in 2019. Capacity use was only 14 percent in 2022, down from 23.4 percent in 2021 and 25.2 percent in 2020.

Biodiesel production was at 15 million liters in 2022, down from 25 million liters in 2021 and 27 million liters in 2022.  Australia’s biodiesel facilities consumed 8,000 metric tons of used cooking oil and 7,000 metric tons of tallow last year.

According to the report, Australia did not import or export any biodiesel in 2022. Consumption was at 15 million liters, up from 10 million liters in 2021, but down from 18 million liters in 2020. Biodiesel has accounted for only 0.1 percent of diesel fuel use during the past three years.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the USDA FAS GAIN website