Brazilians want to sell biodiesel for Spain

The Producers Association sees opportunity to supply Argentinean product which is boycotted by Spain, in retaliation for the nationalization of the YPF

The Association of Biodiesel Producers of Brazil (APROBIO) issued an official letter to the embassy in Brasília, making the 28 associated plants available for supplying biodiesel. Then, Spain stopped importing from Argentina this week, in retaliation for the nationalization of company YPF, from the Spanish Repsol.

The associated companies of the entity represented more than 50% of the product offer in the last auction achieved by the National Agency of Natural Oil and Biofuels (ANP), in the latest February this year, when 700 million liters were commercialized.

The Brazilian biodiesel production, the third greatest in the world, after Argentina and The United States, exceeded 2.5 billion liters last year, and this represented a turnover of R$ 6 billion (US$ 3.1 billion). Besides, the industrial park of the sector, which is comprised of 63 plants, works with 55% idleness in its capacity installed.

In 2011, Argentina exported a total of 1.87 billion liters of biodiesel. According to the Spanish Institute of Commerce, the country spent US$ 920 million in the purchase of Argentinean biofuels (700 million Euros). Spain is considered as the door for the entrance of biodiesel in Europe, from where it is led to other countries of the European Community.

The ANP has authorization for 15 Brazilian plants to export biofuel. The agency also determines a maximum of 4.6 billion liters for the purchase abroad, and this exceeds the volume exported by Argentina last year. Last week, the Spanish ambassador in Brazil, Manuel de la Cámara, said that the nationalization of YPF by Argentina would open possibilities for Brazil to sell more products to Europe. "I think the Europeans will purchase more biodiesel from Brazil. This is an opportunity for Brazil to sell rural products, like soybean, besides biofuels and iron", he asserted, according to dispatch from Brazil Agency. Many Brazilian plants have special authorization from the ANP to export biodiesel which has 5% mixture per liter of fossil diesel commercialized in the country. With R$ 4 billion invested in the last seven years, the production of biodiesel in Brazil generates 1.3 million jobs and involves more than 100 thousand families of small farmers in the supplying of raw material.

"I believe that Brazil has conditions to meet the contracts of Spain with YPF", asserts the chairman of APROBIO, Erasmo Battistella. He says that he already asked the ambassador of Spain in Brazil for an audience in order to get informed on the details of these negotiations. Thereafter, APROBIO intends to look for the Spanish importers and search for the supply of imports, on an emergency or temporary character, until Spain and Argentina decide legal and commercial issues which the suspension of contracts may generate from.

According to Battistella, the Argentinean biodiesel exported to Spain is soybean-based, which is the raw material of 80% of the biofuel produced in Brazil. Besides the grain, 16% of the raw material comes from beef tallow, palm, reused soybean oil, sunflower, canola, and other vegetable oil plants.