AdBlue action welcomed

The trucking sector has welcomed moves to address the AdBlue shortage. Photo by Megan Fisher

Trucking bodies have welcomed news a task force will be set up to tackle the AdBlue shortage.

Australian Trucking Association chair David Smith said the decision to establish the task force showed the AdBlue issue was now at the top of the Federal Government’s agenda.

“We think this is a good outcome. We have been calling for government to make resolving this issue a priority,” Mr Smith said.

“We were disappointed when talks at a government-convened roundtable (on December 8) broke down and issued a media release calling for urgent government action.

“It appears that (Federal Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction) Minister Angus Taylor has listened to our calls and is putting the AdBlue shortage at the top of government’s priority list.”

Mr Smith said Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association was in discussions with members, engine manufacturers and fuel suppliers to explore the extent of the problem and what can be done in the short and longer term.

Truck Industry Council chief executive Tony McMullan said the biggest threat to the industry was from potential hoarding of supplies.

“A clear message to come from the roundtable was a call for calm within the industry,” Mr McMullan said.

“Attempts to secure long term supply and production, beyond the current stocks available, were well in hand by Diesel Exhaust Fluid/AdBlue suppliers, also, it is noted that increased support has been offered by the Federal Government in sourcing from new markets across the world.

“The real risk is, and has always been, the potential for operators to start hoarding DEF/AdBlue, which ultimately could result in an unnecessary shortfall in supply.”

One issue surrounding the hoarding of DEF/AdBlue is its relatively short shelf life, especially in summer.

“Hoarding DEF/AdBlue will be counterproductive for operators,” Mr Hammond said.

“DEF/AdBlue should not be stockpiled. It has a shelf life of approximately one year if stored under the right conditions, however, in hot summer months, its shelf life is more than halved.

“Stockpiling DEF/AdBlue beyond standard business use requirements could lead to the DEF/AdBlue spoiling and becoming unusable, ensuing financial losses for operators.”

He said the current commentary around DEF/AdBlue highlighted a significant issue that the TIC had raised with government for more than a decade.

“TIC is again calling upon the Federal Government to ensure this critical substance is controlled by Australian law.”


AdBlue is made up of 32 per cent urea and 68 per cent de-ionised water. It is injected into the exhaust system to reduce the amount of NOx entering the atmosphere.

Australia is a substantial importer of urea, although Incitec Pivot has a plant in Brisbane. Eighty per cent of the Asia-Pacific’s supply of DEF grade urea comes from China.

Fertiliser grade urea is not suitable for manufacturing DEF as the resulting product does not meet the ISO standard

China has almost halted urea exports as part of an attempt to cool down local fertiliser prices.

Supply of AdBlue is uncertain beyond February 2022.

Source: ALTRA