Tag Archives: ethanol

The grain buyers from 35 countries who attended this year’s Export Exchange conference in Minneapolis have since reported buying an estimated $403 million worth of coarse grains and co-products, including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and feed grains.

The biennial event was held in October, sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy to offer an opportunity for education and introductions to members of the U.S. grains production and export industries.

Buyers and end-users were polled while at the conference and immediately after regarding purchase agreements with sellers and how much volume (tonnage) they bought. In total, attendees reported sales of approximately 2.1 million metric tons of grains and co-products traded either at the conference or immediately before or after.

“Bringing buyers and sellers together in this way is crucial to U.S. farmers right now, and these sales show buyers at Export Exchange 2018 were serious about making deals,” said Tom Sleight, president and CEO of the Council. “Considering the international trade climate, we are pleased to see these number are holding steady.”

Many buyers this year noted their purchasing strategies were more short-term, due to uncertain relationship between the United States and China, but reported they valued their long-term partnerships with U.S. suppliers. Many also reported they are still considering future purchases.

The top grain traded during the two-day conference was DDGS, with more than 1.3 million metric tons collectively exchanged. This number translates to just over 11 percent of last year’s total U.S. DDGS exports. In addition, buyers reported contracting 619,000 metric tons of U.S. corn and 4,050 metric tons of U.S. sorghum.

“It’s no surprise that the top commodity traded during Export Exchange was DDGS, as last year we shipped the ethanol co-product to 50 countries on five continents,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “DDGS and other ethanol co-products provide a value-added market for the U.S. ethanol industry, and the Export Exchange was successful, providing an ideal platform to connect buyers and sellers.”

Export Exchange 2018 offered overseas attendees a unique opportunity to meet and build relationships with domestic suppliers of corn, DDGS, sorghum, barley and other commodities. Nearly 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products were in Minneapolis for the conference, held Oct. 22-24, and for related tours of U.S. farms, ethanol plans and export infrastructure as part of 21 Council-sponsored trade teams.

“The 2018 Export Exchange has once again demonstrated the numerous benefits that ethanol and its co-products, like DDGS, bring to the international market,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “DDGS are the most extensively studied feed ingredient in the past 20 years and stands testament to the contributions of the biofuels industry in supporting global agriculture. This event is a critical venue for American producers to build bonds internationally and foster a healthy trade environment.”

Other grains traded at Export Exchange included:

• Corn Gluten Feed —54,000 metric tons;

• Corn Gluten Meal – 600 metric tons;

• Barley—500 metric tons; and

• Other products including soybeans, soybean meal, feed wheat – 70,000 metric tons

While draft legislation recently released by Reps. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Bill Flores (R-Texas) represents “an important first step in the debate about future fuels policy and the role of high octane fuels,” the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) cannot support the proposal because it “does not provide the long-term certainty and growth path” that America’s ethanol producers need.
That was the message delivered by RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper in testimonyduring today’s House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment hearing on the Shimkus/Flores proposal, named “The 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act.” While the proposal would establish a higher octane fuel requirement (95 RON) in 2023, the draft also would sunset the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) conventional biofuel requirements after 2022.
By eliminating the RFS for conventional biofuels, “…the draft bill would destabilize the considerable progress our nation has made toward greater energy security, economic vitality, and environmental health,” Cooper testified. “We simply cannot support eliminating the RFS program, as the draft envisions, without a much stronger signal to the market that ethanol’s role in our fuel supply will continue to grow.”
While any move toward higher octane would seem on the surface to benefit ethanol—the lowest-cost and cleanest source of octane on the market—recent analysis shows that refiners could meet the demand for 95 RON gasoline without using more ethanol. “Even though ethanol is far superior to other octane boosters in terms of cost, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, health effects, and other factors, a 95 RON standard—when paired with elimination of the RFS conventional renewable fuel requirements—would not result in increased market opportunities for ethanol,” Cooper said. “RFA strongly believes a high octane fuel standard can work in concert with—not in conflict with—the RFS.”
“While a good conversation starter, this discussion draft does not provide the long-term certainty and growth path that America’s renewable fuel producers, farmers, automakers, and consumers need,” Cooper testified. “With proper oversight and implementation, the RFS can work in tandem with a high-octane standard to continue to drive innovation, support rural economies, and provide cleaner and cheaper fuel choices at the pump well beyond 2022,” he added.
A copy of Cooper’s prepared testimony is here.

The ethanol industry applauds the release of the Province of Ontario’s Environment Plan, which includes a fuel requirement for conventional gasoline to be blended with 15 percent ethanol that could go in effect as early as 2025. Following this announcement, Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council, and Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) issued the following statement:

“As one of the largest markets for ethanol, this is a huge milestone for Canada and the people of Ontario. Ontario recognizes the important environmental, economic, and health benefits that ethanol provides and we look forward to seeing this plan become a reality by 2025.”

Last year, Growth Energy and the U.S. Grains Council submitted comments to Canada’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, urging them to look beyond E10 at higher blends like E15, and welcomed the commitment from the Ontario Province to move from a 5 percent blend to a 10 percent ethanol fuel blend by 2020.

The popular political commentary luncheon at the 2019 National Ethanol Conference will feature the co-hosts of Showtime’s popular political documentary series The Circus.

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has announced that John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon will speak together at the 24th annual National Ethanol Conference, Feb. 11-13, 2019, in Orlando.

Heilemann and McKinnon will be the featured luncheon speakers on Tuesday, Feb. 12 for a lively discussion on the 2018 mid-term elections, the 2020 presidential race, and many other political topics. Both are well-known political commentators who collaborated to create and host The Circus, which premiered in 2016 and focused on the 2016 U.S. presidential election, January to November. In 2017 the series centered on President Trump’s first 100 days and this year the third season has been following the mid-term elections.

“The Circus has been called the ‘wildest political show on earth,’ and its fast-paced, behind-the-scenes approach has quickly earned the show a loyal and growing audience,” said RFA president and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We’re certain this will be one of the most entertaining and provocative luncheons we’ve had in the NEC’s 23-year history.”

Registration and more information is available online at NationalEthanolConference.com.