„Europe's golden age for glycerine is over.“
On the supply side, you see declining glycerin volumes. How do you assess global demand?
It has been rising continuously for years. In the technical sector, simple grades can also be used well. But wherever quality requirements continue to increase and sustainability requirements become stricter, as in the food, cosmetics or pharmaceutical sectors, the gap between growing demand and declining supply is widening. The quantity of glycerine from European raw materials such as rapeseed is capped. We are becoming increasingly dependent on imported products.
Would oleochemical glycerine be a way out?
Oleochemical glycerine is not produced in biodiesel but in fatty acid, fatty alcohol and soap production, again with 10% of the vegetable oil used. The global demand for oleochemical products is continuously increasing. It is hardly subject to political influence and is thus purely demand-driven. These are very good omens! But the oleochemical share of the glycerine market is only about 25% and is as of now far from being able to compensate for the volumes from biodiesel production.
What do companies that use glycerine have to be prepared for?
The reduced local and international availability of glycerine is already having consequences today - and these will increase. Not every type of glycerine will be available year-round as usual in the future. Companies will have to prepare for higher and more volatile prices, annual contracts will be the exception.