USGC promotes fuel ethanol during Chinese expo

By U.S. Grains Council | November 25, 2020

The U.S. ethanol industry has much to offer as China develops its own regulatory framework on biofuels. As the industry’s export market development organization, the U.S. Grains Council and its U.S. partners recently promoted increased ethanol use during the third China International Import Expo.

Held earlier this month, the in-person event focused on promoting trade and manifesting China’s government commitments to opening the market to the global economy. The annual conference is a priority event for Chinese foreign trade that attracts a large audience, including senior-level officials from both central and provincial governments. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered the keynote address via video for the opening ceremony.

“CIIE has become a premier venue for bringing nationwide market and government attention to international products and services,” said Junyang Jiang, USGC assistant director for China. “The Council took this opportunity to promote fuel ethanol’s benefits to provincial officials and key industry stakeholders as we continue to expand our market development work on ethanol in China.”

About 3,000 exhibitors staged booths at the expo, including the Council, and nearly 400,000 people were registered as professional visitors for the six-day event.

The Council used its booth space to promote ethanol as a clean and sustainable fuel by sharing ethanol videos and distributing materials. Delegations from various provinces – including Anhui, Henan, Hebei, Shanxi, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Northeast China provinces – were received at the booth. Relevant stakeholders also stopped by, including methanol car researchers, representatives from companies investing in cellulosic ethanol and government officials.

Fuel ethanol has the potential to help the Chinese government reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and overcome severe air quality problems in urban areas. The Council has worked since 2014 to illustrate how blending U.S. ethanol into the gasoline pool could help mitigate poor air quality that affects the respiratory health of Chinese citizens.

Opportunities for U.S. ethanol exports, however, were stymied by the Chinese government dramatically increasing tariffs on imported U.S. ethanol since 2018 in response to U.S. tariff actions, now up to 70 percent. The Council continues to work with Chinese fuel industry stakeholders and government officials as the United States and China work toward a more robust trade relationship following the Phase One agreement.

“U.S.-China relations are complex, but the Phase One agreement represents a new level of trading status between the two countries,” Jiang said. “We hope this agreement can be the cornerstone for other trade advancements, including lifting tariffs on U.S ethanol.”