Since the 2014 crude oil price crash opened a huge spread between gasoline prices and fuel ethanol, ethanol blending has looked economically unattractive, more driven by government mandates. Fast-forward to 2016 and a rollercoaster ride for European fuel ethanol prices has meant a difficult time for the industry. There is a changing picture for capacity, from the bankruptcy of a production site and its sale and subsequent restart, to the re-opening of a mothballed plant. Softer demand is also playing a role. This is set against a backdrop of lack of clarity in EU policy, which is seen as roadblock to the market’s future growth. Some are asking the question, is Europe’s ethanol industry in trouble?
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