22 February 2012 23:56 [Source: ICIS news]
ORLANDO (ICIS)--The US ethanol industry should continue growing in 2012, as it experienced expansion in 2011 and posted its best margins in five years, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said on Wednesday.
The RFA made its comments during the 2012 National Ethanol Conference.
The ethanol trade group said demand was stimulated by high crude oil and finished petroleum product prices; the requirements of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2); and the unexpected strength in the export market.
However, higher feedstock prices also put some pressure on ethanol profitability.
The RFA also said early season expectations for a near record corn crop and reasonable feedstock prices were diminished by poor weather and lower than expected average yields as corn prices increased sharply.
Despite the challenges to profitability, the RFA said the industry continued to grow and easily met the 12.6bn gal (47.7bn litres/year) renewable fuel portion of the RFS.
The full impact of spending for annual ethanol operations and research and development is estimated to have contributed $42.4bn (€31.8bn) to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011.
The RFA concluded that the ethanol industry continues to make a significant contribution to the economy in terms of job creation, generation of tax revenue, and displacement of imported crude oil.
($1 = €0.75)
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