SAO PAULO, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Brazil's biodiesel output was forecast to rise by 31 percent in 2018, industry group Abiove said on Thursday, after the government advanced a much anticipated increase in the amount of the biofuel required to be mixed with diesel.
Currently, 8 percent of biodiesel is mixed with diesel and that blend will be upped to 10 percent in March of 2018, one year ahead of schedule, according to a decision today by Brazil's national energy council, known as CNPE.
Now, Brazil's biodiesel production is expected to reach 5.5 billion liters next year, Abiove said, up from expected production for 2017 of 4.2 billion litters.
The group also estimated Brazil will, in 2018, process an additional 1.5 million tonnes of soybeans, the main raw material used to produce the country's biodiesel. This would elevate total expected processing to 43 million tonnes next year. (Reporting by José Roberto Gomes; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by David Gregorio)