USGC, RFA, Growth Energy promote ethanol overseas

By USGC | September 19, 2014

Representatives from the U.S. Grains Council, Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy traveled this week to Japan and Korea to explore the potential for U.S. ethanol in those markets.

The trip is part of a wider look at potential overseas markets for this renewable fuel, which is in increased demand due to mandates for cleaner fuel and its overall affordability.

Earlier this year, the USDA announced that ethanol exports could be promoted under the Market Access Program, a farm bill initiative through which the Council partners with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service to promote the export of corn, barley, sorghum and their coproducts.

The mission’s objective in both Korea and Japan was to identify contacts and open a strategic discussion with key industry and government leaders involved in biofuels in the two countries; understand those leaders’ visions for the future of biofuels; and explore areas of common interest to advance the growth of biofuels supply, demand and trade.

The team of U.S. ethanol industry representatives met with energy researchers, an ethanol trade association and Korean ethanol producers to discuss the current state of biofuels in Korea. A highlight for the team in was touring a Korean ethanol plant and research facility. The team also met with government officials, a trading company and policy groups in Japan.

“We now have a clearer understanding of the current supply and demand for biofuels in Japan and Korea,” said Eric Mosbey, Lincolnland Agri-Energy LLC general manager, who participated in the mission. 

“These meetings opened a dialogue with key buyers and end-users about U.S. ethanol as a clean, renewable fuel source. This mission is the foundation for future conversations and potentially sales.”

Upon return, the Council will collaborate with USDA’s FAS, RFA and Growth Energy to shift into market development activities based on the information gained from this mission.

The Council is planning to conduct two more regional market assessment programs this year, in Southeast Asia and Latin America. 

Click here to view more photos from this mission.