Fuel ethanol demand in the Philippines to increase 13% in 2022

By Erin Voegele | September 06, 2022

Fuel ethanol demand in the Philippines is expected to increase by 13 percent in 2022, with imports expected to grow by 33 percent, according to a report filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network. Domestic consumption is currently constrained by limited feedstocks, according to the report.  

More than a decade ago, the Philippines set a goal to achieve 20 percent ethanol use by 2020. That goal is currently unmet, with the country blend mandates remaining at E10 since 2012. According to the report, there is no immediate plan to increase the fuel ethanol blend. The long-term pathway to E20 will likely be through voluntary blending, not mandates. The government in early 2020 began work to prepare standards for E15 and E20 blends. Those efforts, however, were put on hold due to COVID-19. Work to develop those standards resumed earlier this year.

The Philippines is expected to consume 886 million liters (234.06 million gallons) of ethanol this year, including 660 million liters of fuel ethanol. Consumption was at 794 million liters last year, including 584 million liters of fuel ethanol, and 664 million liters in 2020, including 521 million liters of fuel ethanol. Ethanol is expected to account for 9.7 percent of gasoline fuel use this year, up from 8.6 percent in 2021 and 9.2 percent in 2020.

The country currently has 13 ethanol refineries, flat with 2021, and up from 12 in 2020. Nameplate capacity is at 426 million liters this year, a figure maintained from 2021. Capacity was at 381 million liters in 2020. Capacity use is expected to reach 84.5 percent in 2022, up from 83.3 percent in 2021 and 73.5 percent in 2020.

Domestic ethanol production is expected to reach 410 million liters this year, including 360 million liters of fuel ethanol. Ethanol production was at 409 million liters in 2021, including 355 million liters of fuel ethanol, and at 344 million liters in 2020, including 280 million liters.

Molasses is the primary feedstock used for ethanol production in the Philippines, with 1.35 million metric tons expected to be consumed in 2022. An additional 350,000 metric tons of sugarcane is expected to go to ethanol production this year.  

The Philippines is expected to import 480 million liters of ethanol this year, up form 385 million liters last year and 322 million liters in 2020. Fuel ethanol imports are expected to reach 300 million liters this year, up from 225 million liters in 2021 and 240 million liters in 2020.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the USDA FAS GAIN website