May 23 (Renewables Now) - Brazil produced 452 million litres (119.4 million gallons) of biodiesel in March, the highest volume recorded in the month for the last ten years.
In the first quarter of 2018, the country produced 1.13 billion litres of biodiesel, a 32% year-on-year increase. This is largely due to the legal requirement for a minimum blend of 10% biodiesel in diesel sold at the pump, the Ministry of Mines and Energy said on Tuesday.
Brazil remained the second largest biodiesel market globally in 2017, with 4.29 billion litres consumed. The US ranked first with 7.4 billion litres. The 10% blending mandate is expected to boost significantly Brazilian demand in 2018.
Among the biodiesel producing regions, the midwest came in first with a 42% share, followed by the south with 40%. Soybean was the main raw material for Brazilian biodiesel production, accounting for 67.8% of the total production in the first quarter.
As for ethanol production, Brazil totalled 3.8 billion litres in the first four months of the year. Of this volume, 2.9 billion was hydrous ethanol and 900 million was anhydrous, noted the government.