Closing in on West Coast Renewable Diesel Supply/Demand Balances

Apr 30, 2024

April 30, 2024

In 2022 the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revised its reporting requirements for renewable fuels to be fully inclusive of the slate of biofuels, including renewable diesel (RD). Previously, only ethanol and biodiesel (BD) were featured in EIA’s biofuel monthly reporting. Furthermore, EIA had not previously made available RD movements by rail. This additional data, when added to our prior work, gets us closer to closure on a PADD 5 (West Coast) RD supply balance. Before this new data was made available, we could only imply a value for the combined PADD 5 production and rail movements from the difference between the RD volume reported by the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), Oregon Clean Fuels Program (CFP), and Washington Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) programs less the imported RD and domestic waterborne volumes.

The figure below shows our quarterly RD supply/demand balances from 1Q2021 to 3Q2023 (the latest low carbon fuel (LCF) program data available) by quarter.

PADD 5 (West Coast) Renewable Diesel Volumes

PADD 5 imports, domestic marine movements, and rail movements (beginning in 2022) are shown in the bottom three portions of the columns. The light orange portion of the columns is the implied PADD 5 production, rail movements, inventory changes, and other supply while the dark orange portion of the columns is the same but without rail data given that this data wasn’t available until Q12022.

Beginning in 2024, this chart will be able to be refined further as the EIA has begun to report PADD 5 RD production data. Since RD is a key fuel for credit generation in the three PADD 5 low carbon fuel (LCF) programs, knowledge of RD production, supply, and demand trends will be important information for LCF market participants and followers. Beginning with the April edition of Stillwater’s LCFS Monthly Newsletter, a more granular and thorough version of the figure above will be included as a regular feature.

Don’t miss out as the April edition will have updated LCF program data through 4Q2023, EIA data through February 2024 and US supply data through April. This analysis will only be available to Stillwater’s LCFS Newsletter subscribers. The first seven days of your subscription are free, so subscribe today!

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