US ethanol finds market abroad but keeps domestic focus

15 June 2010 16:39  [Source: ICIS news]

US ethanol finds markets abroadST. LOUIS, Missouri (ICIS news)--The US ethanol industry should focus on its domestic market but keep an eye out for export opportunities as a way to enhance its trade balance, a US ethanol lobbying group said on Tuesday.

“Exports of US ethanol are on pace to shatter previous records, providing a much needed outlet for current production, said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president Bob Dinneen during a speech at the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) in St. Louis.

But Dinneen told delegates that enhancing trade balance should only be relevant after the industry had fully realised all the benefits of ethanol use in the US.

US ethanol exports in January-April surpassed volumes exported for the entire year 2009, the RFA said last week, renewing calls for the US to lift its restriction on ethanol blending from 10% to 15%.

The US between January and April exported 124.3m gal of ethanol, surpassing the 113.3m gal shipped during the 2009 calendar year, according to the association.

US ethanol producers were being forced to look for overseas markets because the US regulatory cap on blending was leaving the market saturated, the group said.

US ethanol production is at around 12.5bn gal/year, a level that puts the industry within striking distance of the maximum volume allowed for blending as a result of the 10% cap.

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