Ethanol industry boosts Minnesota’s economy by $2.3 billion

By Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association | February 19, 2019

Minnesota’s ethanol industry contributed $2.31 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, according to a new study by ABF Economics.

In 2018, the study said, Minnesota’s ethanol producers produced 1.27 billion gallons of ethanol, 3.8 million tons of dried distillers grains with solubles (a high-protein animal feed) and 283 million pounds of corn oil (which is used for biodiesel production).

This in turn, the study said, generated $6.9 billion in gross sales for Minnesota businesses and supported 20,137 jobs in 2018.

Furthermore, according to ABF Economics, Minnesota’s ethanol industry contributed $1.74 billion in household income and paid $204 million in state and local taxes last year.

“This study once again shows the importance of the ethanol industry to Minnesota’s economy,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MNBiofuels).

The study by ABF Economics was prepared for MNBiofuels.

In comparison to 2017, the study said the industry’s GDP contribution in 2018 grew 6.4 percent to $2.31 billion from $2.17 billion.

Full-time jobs supported by the industry was 7 percent higher in 2018 at 20,137 jobs compared to 18,813 jobs a year earlier, ABF Economics said.

The industry also spent $2.06 billion on operating costs in 2018, 9.9 percent more than it did in 2018 ($1.87 billion), the study said.

In terms of the coproducts produced by Minnesota’s ethanol industry last year, ABF Economics said the 3.8 million tons of dried distiller’s grains with solubles produced was sufficient to meet the annual feed requirements of more than 2.5 million beef and dairy cattle, or the entire inventory of cattle and calves in Minnesota.

The study added the 283 million pounds of corn oil produced in 2018 was sufficient to produce 38 million gallons of biodiesel, or more than 45 percent of Minnesota’s biodiesel capacity.