This U.S. Grains Council chart illustrates potential ethanol use if countries enforced their current biofuels mandates.
The U.S. Grains Council is looking to export markets for ethanol expansion…
If countries enforced existing biofuels mandates using ethanol, their gasoline use in 2012 would suggest that the top 10 ethanol consumers would require 3.5 billion gallons of the renewable fuel. The next 10 would add another 393 million gallons of demand.
As examples of the potential ethanol demand that would be driven by enforcement of existing mandates, ethanol consumption in Japan would increase from 9 to 459 million gallons and in Mexico, from 4 to 236 million gallons. Starting this fall, the team will assess Japan and Korea, Latin America and Southeast Asia as potential markets for U.S. ethanol exports.
These markets represent the potential for a huge growth in global ethanol demand. The Council and its partners have initiated ethanol export market development programs in 2014.
Note that looking to expand the export of ethanol in today’s environment of surplus corn was highly expected. Maybe we should call it exporting our topsoil, exporting our tax dollars, and, exporting our Monarch’s and our songbirds to some forgotten place. Who are the winners? The big agribusiness companies.
Ethanol profitability goes up when corn prices go down, and so can serve as a good hedge for corn farmers, provided the ethanol price is strong.
According to Hofstrand, a retired Iowa State University ag economist:
Production and consumption of ethanol remain in relative balance with a slight increase in net exports. This has resulted in a gradual reduction in ethanol stocks which has helped support ethanol price. However, future ethanol usage and price remains clouded due to the ‘blend wall’ and other transportation fuel issues.