February 01, 2005
Hanging in Ft. Lauderdale with the farmers
Attending the National Biodiesel Board Biodiesel conference this week in Ft. Lauderdale. About 600 were expected. There were 850 pre-registered and over 100 day of show registrations. This business is hot. Some observations:
There are actual customers at the show. Farmers, entrepreneurs, distributors, retailers, large fuel consumers, and more. Actual customers of biodiesel. Companies that want to expand their investment in the business. This is a good sign. Many trade shows I have been to end up being alot of vendors talking to each other wondering where the real customers are. This is not the case here.
Total US Biodiesel production was between 30-35M gallons in 2004. It was roughly flat with 2003 due in large part to the 50% increase in soy prices during the year. The effects of the Soy price shock were somewhat blunted by the petrol price rises at the same time.
Everyone I talked to is quite optimistic about 2005. Primarilly due to the blender tax incentives. I personally talked to producers who had projects in the works which would produce over 150M gallons a year of new biodiesel (some internationally).
The most interesting biodiesel production opportunities continue to be overseas where the price of #2 Diesel remains high. Hawaii is a special case where Pacific Biofuels is able to undercut petrodiesel with their waste vegitable oil biodiesel. Since they produce biodiesel locally and #2 Diesel must be imported, they are able to sell Biodiesel at the pump for around $2.40/gallon while #2 diesel is aroudn $2.70. With those economics stateside, B100 life would be a reality!
A little noticed side note to the show is that the water bus that runs along the inland waterway here in Ft. Lauderdale is BioDiesel. Not mentioned at the show, but I got that when going out to dinne yesterday.
The Jeep Liberty CRD was here on the showroom floor. It has much more room inside than it looks. And very solidly built. When inside you can't hear any of the outside noises. The company is offering rides today and I will compare it to the Touareg!
Well off to day 2
Posted by Martin at February 1, 2005 05:25 AM
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