US Edged Out by Brazil Beef Fat Destined for Biofuels

Brazil is reaping the benefits from a US biofuels boom, undercutting American farmers by flooding the market with a little-known commodity that can be used to make renewable fuels.

American purchases of Brazilian cattle tallow, a form of waste fat, climbed 377%in the first four months of 2024 from a year earlier. Brazil has accounted for nearly all the 40% increase in overall tallow shipments into the US in the period.

US fuelmakers, including Diamond Green Diesel LLC and Marathon Petroleum Corp., are turning overseas for cheaper raw materials that will help boost their margins. Renewable diesel made from waste fat or used cooking oil has a lower carbon score than soy oil and therefore gets higher tax credits in California, where a large part of US green diesel currently is consumed.

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