According to EIA's figure, the imports of biomass-based diesel, which includes both biodiesel and renewable diesel, reached more than 31,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2020. This was the second consecutive year that the U.S. imports of biomass-based diesel increased.
EIA found that nearly 60 percent of the U.S. biomass-based diesel imports in 2020 was renewable diesel, which had come exclusively from Singapore since 2015. EIA said that U.S. imports of renewable diesel increased to a record-high level of more than 18,000 b/d in 2020.
U.S. imports of biodiesel in 2020 increased to more than 12,800 b/d. Imports from Canada accounted for the majority of the U.S. biodiesel imports in 2020 at 7,500 b/d, a 47 percent increase from 2019.
EIA's analysis showed that the imports increase in 2020 was a result of growing demand to meet government renewable fuel programs. U.S. consumption of biomass-based diesel, unlike demand for other fuels, remained relatively unaffected by responses to COVID-19 in 2020.
Because biomass-based diesel typically costs more to produce than petroleum diesel, its consumption in the United States is primarily driven by policies. At the federal level, biomass-based diesel qualifies as an advanced biofuel under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuel Standard program, which sets targets to incorporate renewable fuels into the nation's fuel supply. Biomass-based diesel volumes also qualify for a one U.S. dollar per gallon tax credit through the end of 2022.