US ADM expects sales boost from new E-15 blending rule

01 May 2012 17:08  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland  (ADM) said on Tuesday that gasoline blends containing 15% ethanol (E-15) will eventually achieve acceptance and boost the company's biofuels performance.

The new E-15 rule allows, but does not require, fuels containing ethanol blends of up to 15%. Before, the US set a 10% cap for ethanol blending.

"The implementation of E-15 is important to ADM in the long term, and economic rationale will eventually overcome objections to its use from automakers and others," said ADM Chief Operating Officer Juan Luciano in an earnings conference call.

"The acceptance of E-15 is a long process, but progress is being made," Luciano said.

Illinois-based ADM has the capacity to produce 1.8bn gal/year (6.8bn litres/year) of ethanol.

US ethanol production will be tested by a shortage of corn in coming months until the new crop corn becomes available, Luciano said.

US ethanol production has been slowing as high corn prices have reduced margins, but exports of ethanol to Brazil and other countries could expand because of high gasoline prices, ADM said.

Weak margins resulted in the recent closure of ADM's 30m gal/year dry mill ethanol plant in Walhalla, North Dakota.

ADM said demand for biodiesel has been down in recent months because of the cold winter in Europe, but that demand should resume with the arrival of spring and summer.

ADM has the capacity to produce 450 gal/year of biodiesel.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Frank Zaworski
+1 713 525 2653

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