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EU's 10% biofuels target won’t hit food prices - Agriculture Comissioner Boel says

To meet its 10% biofuels use target in 2020, the EU biodiesel industry says it will have to raise output by 15% each year and rely mostly on EU-grown rapeseed and sunflower seed oils up to 2020.

Only 20% of the raw materials for EU-produced biofuels would come from imports. Speaking at a conference, EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said the target would make EU prices for agricultural raw materials rise by between 3% and 6% for cereals, and between 5% and 18% for the major oilseeds. Since prices for those raw products only influenced food prices to a limited extent, bread prices might increase by less than 1% because the cost of cereals comprised less than 5% of the retail price of bread. "With regard to oilseed-based products, the increase in vegetable oil prices would be greater," said Fischer Boel. "However, food manufacturers using vegetable oils can partly replace rapeseed oil with soybean or sunflower oil." If there was more processing in foods, then the share of the cost of vegetable oils would reduce in the consumer price, she said. So in highly processed foods like prepared meals and chocolate bars, consumer prices would remain stable. (autoindustry.co.uk)