German bioethanol output fell 4.4% in 2011 on high sugar prices

09 February 2012 17:13  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s bioethanol production fell 4.4% in 2011 to 576,828 tonnes, an industry group said on Thursday.

Sugar’s share as a feedstock in Germany’s bioethanol production fell to 28% in 2011, from 33% in 2010.

Dietrich Klein, CEO of German bioethanol trade group BDB, said the year-on-year decline in the share of sugar in bioethanol production was because of relatively high sugar prices.

High sugar prices resulted in sugar producers selling more product to the food and nutrition industry, rather than to bioethanol, pharmaceutical or chemicals markets, he added.

This, he added, was “clear evidence” that bioethanol production was not driving up food prices: “The use of sugar in food and nutrition has priority over sugar’s use in bioethanol production.”

However, following a strong sugar beet harvest, the share of sugar as feedstock in Germany’s bioethanol production should rise again this year, BDB’s Klein added.

Biofuels critics often blame biofuels production for driving up global food prices.

Read Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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