The global ethanol market is not seen to experience a full recovery from the coronavirus disruption at least until 2022, according to the US Grains Council’s director of global ethanol market development Brian Healy, cited by S&P Global. 

The coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown measures taken by a number of countries have severely affected fuel demand, leading to the closure of more than 250 ethanol plants globally and a 20% reduction in annual global expectations for ethanol production.  

According to Platts Analytics’ projections, the global ethanol output will average 1.715 million b/d (around 99 billion litres) in 2020, down from 1.926 b/d in 2019. Global ethanol trade is expected to drop in 2020 mainly due to lower demand for fuel ethanol and, to a lesser degree, a decline in industrial ethanol requirements, said Healy. 

The ethanol demand growth in the long term is affected by policy delays in key markets such as China and Canada. At the same time, unknowns around the governments' reactions to the pandemic will keep suppressing demand for gasoline and ethanol going forward, said Healy.

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Image by Alex Liivet licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.