Former VP at Darling Ingredients Inc
- Market size of UCO (used cooking oil) and tallow in volume and value
- Logistics and costs of collection, transportation and storage
- Impact of renewable fuels capacity build-out on UCO and tallow demand
- Key market trends and regional dynamics across North America
What is the size of the UCO [used cooking oil] market in North America?
Has the North America UCO market been growing or is it fairly stable? What determines how much might be produced?
How is UCO typically collected?
What kind of trucks collect UCO? You talked about the tractor-trailers, but what’s the size of the trucks? Does anything special need to be done to the trucks that make these collections? How long will they last? Is there any maintenance or wear and tear?
How much of the market today is animal-based fats vs plant-based? You talked about this transition over the last 20 years, but where do you think it stands now?
Is it typically a single person or multiple people collecting used oil in these trucks? What does it take to be able to drive one of these trucks? Is there any necessary training or licences?
Is any technology used for planning routes and things of that nature? Is there planning or scheduling? What visibility might truck drivers have into the planning? Do they find out each morning what they’ll do?
How prevalent is theft in the marketplace and what drives it? How do you combat stealing UCO?
You mention traceability for used oil is coming, but it’s not there now. How do you think this will work? What has to happen to adopt it?
How important is the renewable fuels business today? How much of the volume can you see heading towards manufacturing fuels and where do you think it’s heading?
Could you discuss historical prices for UCO? You said you don’t see a lot of theft below USD 0.20 per pound, but there can be incentive north of USD 0.40. Where have we been and how much do the renewable fuel facilities influence that price?
If a mom-and-pop restaurant wants to sell its UCO, is there a contract, an index or a negotiation as prices have been rising as more renewable diesel is manufactured?
Does UCO go to a central point for inventory after collection? Does any additional processing need to be done before it’s sold to a renewable fuels manufacturer?
How would you estimate the cost to extract the moisture and food waste from the oil?
Once you have the pure oil, how much does it cost to transport it to a renewable diesel or fuels facility? What distances does UCO typically move around North America?
Considering the demand you’re seeing from renewable fields, are the rising prices displacing the animal feed part of the business? How essential are important exports to providing enough volume to this business?
Prior to the emergence of renewable fuels, did the US export any of its UCO, if it was just for animal feed and we had more of these restaurants, or was it always consumed internally?
Is there any difference in the quality or what certain cooking oil will yield to a renewable diesel producer, or is it a homogeneous commodity?
What’s going on with industry dynamics in terms of collecting, storing and transporting UCO? We’ve discussed the uplift in prices in recent years, restaurant owners recognising the value in their used cooking oil and thieves potentially getting involved. Do you see new entrants coming into the business? Is there consolidation among big players trying to get more scale?
Can you provide an example of an M&A transaction that captured your attention?
What’s your outlook for UCO prices?
How do we track what’s happening in the UCO industry? Are there important events or signposts to monitor? What do we need to know?
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