Fuel ethanol production this year is expected to fall to 2015 levels because of the COVID-19 crisis, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says in a recent report.

Production is seen to drop by 14.5% year-on-year to 98 billion litres in 2020, mainly due to lower gasoline demand because of the pandemic and a drop in oil prices. Roughly 80% of the reduction will occur in Brazil and the US.

The US’ fuel ethanol production will decrease by 12% year-on-year to 52 billion litres, according to IEA. In Brazil, the fall will be of 16.5% to 30 billion litres. 

In China, meanwhile, ethanol production will actually climb to some 4 billion litres from 3.9 billion litres in 2019, as a result of the expansion of the use of E10. India’s output is expected to be 1.8 billion litres, down by 8%, while Thailand’s is to shrink by 7% to 1.5 billion litres.

IEA expects the average annual ethanol production in 2023-2025 to be 119 billion litres. China’s contribution is to more than double to 8.5 billion litres, supported by the steady expansion of production capacity and the promotion of ethanol-gasoline blending. Thailand’s average annual production in the forecast period will be 2.4 billion litres, as a result of a move to make E20 the principal blend for passenger vehicles and higher production capacity.

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Image by Alan Levine licensed under CC0 1.0 via Flickr.