New Horizons

The Renewable Fuels Association is working to expand ethanol export markets, says Bob Dinneen, president and CEO. For example, the group has led trips abroad to connect U.S. ethanol producers with new customers.
By Bob Dinneen | April 10, 2014

As President Obama and the U.S. EPA deliberate what to do with the renewable fuel standard, the U.S. ethanol industry understands that no matter what happens with that program, we will still need to build demand to assure continued growth and stability. Increasingly, that new demand is coming from beyond our shores.

Last year, the United States exported 621.5 million gallons of ethanol to countries both large and small and from every corner of the globe.  Canada, the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates represent just a handful of the different markets U.S. producers sent product in 2013.  Clearly, the demand for high-octane, low-carbon ethanol knows no border.  U.S.-produced ethanol is now the lowest-cost liquid transportation fuel on the planet.  Any nation desiring to give their consumers some relief at the pump knows they need our fuel.

The Renewable Fuels Association is at the forefront of the effort to expand ethanol markets abroad.  Last October, the RFA led a trip to northern Brazil through the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Brazil-U.S. Business Council, setting up matchmaking sessions to connect U.S. ethanol producers with businesses looking to import the low-cost fuel. That trip alone led to $20 million in ethanol sales, with another $9 million in the works. That was a resoundingly successful venture and additional trips are being planned as we look to expand exports into Asia.

We will continue to push forward into new markets. The RFA has created an Export Enhancement program with Growth Energy and the U.S. Grains Council.  We are committed to seizing upon new market opportunities.  This is only the beginning.

Author: Bob Dinneen
President and CEO,
Renewable Fuels Association