ACE Annual Meeting Registration Open

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Registration for the 32nd annual American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) conference, August 14-16 at the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District in Omaha, Nebraska. This year’s “What it Takes” conference theme and programming reflect the ethanol industry’s fortitude for growing the business of clean fuel despite several headwinds the industry battles today.

“Rural America is under tremendous economic stress due to artificial limits on demand and we have more policy irons in the fire than ever before,” said Brian Jennings, ACE CEO. “There’s no time like the present to come together, so we encourage ethanol producers and industry members to register for this year’s conference and join us in Omaha this summer as we have candid conversations about ‘what it takes’ to move this industry forward.”

For over three decades, the ACE conference has focused on the people of the ethanol industry and their priorities — a meeting where ethanol producers rub shoulders with retailers, policymakers, researchers, and other industry members. The event provides two days of general sessions, including updates from ACE leadership, as well as insight on topics like the ethanol retail marketplace, future demand opportunities, and trade developments from fuel retailers and industry experts. The conference also offers nine breakout sessions with subjects covering the latest in technology updates, strategic planning advice, and ways to make ethanol plants more profitable.

Link to conference information and registration.

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Study Shows RFS Saves 22 Cents Per Gallon

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A new study shows the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has lowered gas prices by an average of 22 cents per gallon in recent years and saved the typical American household $250 annually.

The study, by economist and energy policy expert Dr. Philip K. Verleger, Jr., used an econometric model to estimate the impacts of the RFS, which requires refiners to blend increasing amounts of renewable fuels with gasoline and diesel, on crude oil and gasoline prices over the last four years (2015-2018).

“The Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Measuring the Impact on Crude Oil and Gasoline Prices” concludes that by expanding fuel supplies by approximately 1 million barrels per day, the RFS reduced the price of crude oil by an average of $6 per barrel from 2015-2018. In turn, gas prices were reduced by an average of 22 cents per gallon, which amounts to a savings of nearly $5 every time consumers fill up. According to the study, the RFS is responsible for putting roughly $90 billion back into the pockets of U.S. consumers over the past four years, increasing discretionary income and raising the nation’s gross domestic product.

The report also found that if ethanol was entirely eliminated from the fuel supply, as some opponents of renewable fuels have advocated, gasoline prices would surge by more than $1 per gallon. According to the study, “Retail prices would today be above $4 per gallon, not $2.90, were renewable supplies removed from the supply mix.”

“If you’ve never heard of the Renewable Fuel Standard before today, this study tells you all you need to know: blending renewable fuels like ethanol into our gasoline supply saves American consumers money every time they fill up their tank,” said Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “As we head into the summer driving season, it’s important for American consumers to recognize that the RFS is keeping prices down at the pump, while at the same time reducing harmful tailpipe pollutants, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and moving us closer to energy independence.”

Read the study.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS

Michigan Hall of Fame Honors Biodiesel Ambassador

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The Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame has inducted a Biodiesel Ambassador into its ranks.

Chris Case was honored for his lifetime commitment to environmental stewardship in the awards created by the Muskegon Environmental Research & Education Society in 2010.
National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen says Case is an environmental pioneer whose life’s work has forged a model for sustainable practices like biodiesel use. “During his tenure as facilities manager at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising, Michigan, Case led early adoption of this cleaner burning fuel in the 1990s,” said Rehagen. “As a volunteer Biodiesel Ambassador, Chris has generously shared the real-world environmental and performance benefits of biodiesel with parks, schools and fleets across the nation.”

Case’s leadership helped the park reduce its environmental footprint, protect natural resources for generations to come, and improve worker health and safety. The Lakeshore’s Environmental Leadership program, which included the use of biodiesel as well as soy-biobased lubricants and other products, earned the 2005 Department of the Interior’s Environmental Achievement Award.

Biodiesel, NBB

Promoting Fuel Ethanol In South Korea

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The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA’s FAS) recently conducted the fourth annual Bioethanol Fuel Promotion Conference in Seoul, South Korea. The effort is designed to encourage ethanol use in the South Korean transport sector by providing information on the environmental, human health and economic benefits of blending ethanol into fuel supplies.

South Korea currently ranks as the fifth largest international market for U.S. ethanol but only imports ethanol for industrial uses. The workshop featured a report on the South Korean biofuels situation, a panel discussion between U.S. and Korean industry officials, perspective from the Japanese biofuels policy changes and the positive impacts of ethanol on air quality, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions and cost savings.

South Korean imports of U.S. ethanol set a new record in 2017/2018 at 69.7 million gallons (24.7 million bushels in corn equivalent). Thus far in the new marketing year (September 2018 to February 2019), South Korea has imported 56.3 million gallons (nearly 20 million bushels in corn equivalent), more than doubling sales year-over-year. The increase follows a January 2018 South Korean ban on methanol, a competing product for industrial uses with high toxicity.

While U.S. ethanol is used solely for beverage and industrial uses, the South Korean government is working on research into the viability of a national biofuels policy that could provide expanded market opportunities. The Council continues to work with U.S. government officials to support Korean government and industry as they discuss the use of ethanol as a fuel alternative.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, International, USDA, USGC

European Commission Removes Ethanol Duties

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U.S. ethanol stakeholders are pleased with the decision by the European Commission to not renew anti-dumping duties on European Union (EU) imports of U.S. ethanol.

“RFA has always maintained these penalties were unjustified and unwarranted,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) CEO Geoff Cooper. “The U.S. ethanol industry is looking forward to resuming more open trade relations with the European Union. With today’s removal of these duties, consumers in the EU will once again have unfettered access to clean, affordable, renewable fuels.”

Growth Energy and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) joined RFA in welcoming the decision, which stems from the European Commission’s expiry review of the anti-dumping duties the Commission put in place in 2013. In announcing its decision, the Commission found no evidence that warranted continuation of those duties and that their removal of duties would not encourage dumping in the EU.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, Growth Energy, RFA, USGC

RFA Rolls Out New Logo and Web Site

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The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has a new look. The organization has unveiled a new logo complete with a fully rebranded web site.

Featuring fresh design elements, crisp imagery, streamlined content, and new information, the RFA site will serve as the go-to resource for renewable fuel advocates, policymakers, media, researchers, fuel retailers, students, consumers and others seeking the latest news and data about renewable fuels.

The new logo features an abstraction symbolizing the “road ahead.” The image represents the ethanol industry coming together and forging a path forward that takes renewable fuels to new places and creates new opportunities.

The colors are carried over from the previous logo, with green representing both the environmental benefits of renewable energy and the plant-based materials that become renewable fuels; gold representing both energy from sunlight and our nation’s bountiful grain harvest; and blue representing clean air, clean water, and the planet Earth.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Study Shows Economic Impact of Grain Exports

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A new study commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) points to the importance of export markets to U.S. farmers.

The study highlights the total economic impact of U.S. grain exports to be $55 billion in 2016 and also shows grain exports supporting 271,000 jobs directly or indirectly, according to Kimberly Atkins, vice president and chief operating officer for the USGC. The results are available through a complete report and also an interactive tool that breaks the information down to show the value of production and exports by state or congressional district.

“It’s important for our farmers to see the exact impact that exports are having for their exact state,” said Atkins, who said this kind of information is particularly important amid trade challenges happening right now.

“For U.S. grain producers, this report really highlights why it is that we need good trade policy in place and hopefully can be used to strengthen that conversation as we move forward in the next few months,” she said.

Atkins discusses the study in this interview: Interview with Kimberly Atkins, U.S. Grains Council

Audio, corn, Exports, Grains, NCGA, USGC

Ethanol Trade was Active in March

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The latest monthly trade numbers for ethanol are higher, both exports and imports, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

RFA research analyst Ann Lewis reports that U.S. ethanol exports increased 23% to 140.0 million gallons (mg) in March 2019, the sixth straight month that exports have exceeded 100 million gallons.

Brazil was our top trading partner for the fourth straight month, purchasing a substantial 65.7 mg of U.S. ethanol and representing nearly half (47%) of our March export market. This reflects an 81% increase over February and the largest monthly shipment to Brazil in twelve months. Exports to Canada also surged 33% to 22.7 mg (16% of the global export market). India pared back on U.S. ethanol imports, decreasing 30% to 10.5 mg. Other significant importers include Switzerland (9.1 mg), Peru (5.5 mg), and the Philippines (4.9 mg).

At the same time, March saw the first imports of fuel ethanol this year so far and the largest first quarter volume since 2013. The United States imported 10.7 mg of undenatured fuel ethanol from Brazil in March, while Canada dispatched 0.1 mg of denatured fuel ethanol.

March exports of U.S. dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product generated by dry mill ethanol plants—rebounded from a 6-year low in February, pushing 39% higher to 956,828 metric tons (mt).

Meanwhile, ethanol production continues to stay above a million barrels a day. For the week ending May 3, ethanol production expanded 12,000 barrels per day (b/d), a 1.2% increase, at an average of 1.036 million barrels per day (b/d), equivalent to 43.51 million gallons daily. The four-week average ethanol production rate moved 0.9% higher to 1.031 million b/d—equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.81 billion gallons.

Ethanol stocks narrowed 1.0% to a 40-week low of 22.5 million barrels. Reserves have fallen 7.8% since hitting record highs seven weeks prior, although stocks remain 2.1% greater than year ago volumes.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, RFA

POET Ads Spotlight Farm Crisis

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South Dakota-based ethanol producer POET, LLC, is launching a major advertising campaign directed at “leaders in the nation’s capital to confront the economic crisis in rural America and support crop-based products like ethanol to revitalize farm income.”

“American farmers are no strangers to adversity,” said Kyle Gilley, POET Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Communications. “They confront every obstacle with grim determination and a strong work ethic, but we are near a breaking point. Policymakers need to recognize that economic success in urban centers doesn’t mean anything to the rural families being left behind. Farm debt is set to hit a record high, while the latest Commerce Department report shows quarterly farm income fell $11.8 billion since December – a 25 percent plunge over just three months.”

POET’s six-figure campaign will feature cable spots during popular newscasts. The campaign also will include a broad range of digital advertising. Ads feature real farmers discussing real challenges facing rural communities, where the ethanol industry works hand-in-hand with local growers to support stronger markets and a stronger America.

Here is one of the ads:

Ethanol, POET, policy

Ethanol Report on Higher Gas Prices

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The summer driving season is getting closer and gas prices are just expected to get higher, but don’t blame ethanol.

A recent analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association found that gas prices have been getting higher mainly because of a surge in crude oil prices since the start of the year, combined with normal seasonal gasoline pricing, as well as refinery maintenance and unplanned outages.

In this edition of “The Ethanol Report,” Renewable Fuels Association Chief Economist Scott Richman discusses the analysis.

Ethanol Report on Higher Gas Prices

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Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, RFA