Rising commodity prices put the brakes on biofuels

Agri Energy, the company that canceled construction of a number of ethanol production facilities in Australia last year (previous post), have just released their quarterly report for Q4 2007. In the front of that report is the very interesting set of tables below.

Agri Energy commodity prices
Agri Energy Ltd Quarterly Report December 2007

You can see why ethanol is losing favour in the US amongst investors. The price of corn has increased by about 75 percent and ethanol has dropped about 40 percent. Interestingly, while soy oil has increased in price, biodiesel has increased proportionally suggesting the biodiesel industry isn’t suffering as badly as ethanol.

The standout in Australia is tallow. In one year tallow prices have jumped 250 percent! No wonder Australian Renewable Fuels (previous post) and the Australian Biodiesel Group (previous post) have mothballed their tallow based production facilities.

Europe doesn’t seem to have experienced any major change but the one feedstock not shown that Europe relies on is palm oil and that has increased in cost considerably over the last year (previous post).

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