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China supplies over a third (34%) of Europe’s UCO imports while almost a fifth (19%) comes from major palm oil producers Malaysia and Indonesia combined. Within a decade the volume Europe needs could double to 6 million tonnes as EU countries strive to meet targets for renewable fuels in transport , the study finds. This in turn could trigger palm oil being used to replace cooking oil in exporting countries while also incentivising fraud (mixing virgin oil).
As UCO is counted double towards national climate targets under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, it is often traded at a higher price than virgin oil. This increases the risk that virgin oils could be fraudulently mixed with imported UCO.
The study and the associated T&E briefing can be accessed below.