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Belgium to ban palm and soybean oil for biofuel use

Belgium will not allow the production or use of biofuels or biogases containing palm or soybean oil beginning next year.

The USDA’s Foreign Ag Service reports the ban aligns with the EU Renewable Energy Directive, set to begin in 2022, which sets an EU-wide binding renewable energy target of at least 32 percent by 2030 with a 14 percent target for the transport sector.  The Belgian Ministry for the Environment notes some studies show the two oils are the most environmentally damaging raw materials in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, indirect land use change and deforestation.

Belgium issued a draft decree with the European Commission in March. The Commission, other EU member states and stakeholders have three months to comment if they think there is a risk of creating a technical barrier on the EU Single Market.

This ban is expected to have minimal impact on U.S. soybean and soybean oil exports to the European Union in the near term.

  • I’m not sold on no impact. The Europeans are good at putting up barriers to our ag exports. If one country does it others could follow. This could be a dangerous precedent.

    • Thank you for this insight Dave, I have clarified in the article that minimal impact is expected “in the near term”. Moving forward, we will keep an eye out for any larger or longer term impacts.

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