The unprecedented, nationwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) health pandemic sent a shockwave throughout the biofuels industry. Due to stay-at-home orders across the country, drivers vacated the roads, which caused gasoline and ethanol demand to plummet.

In just a few weeks, demand fell by 50% and ethanol production fell as low as 9.45 billion gallons annualized (compared to 15.8 billion gallons pre-pandemic). With a fast-shrinking market for biofuels, ethanol stockpiles reached all-time highs and prices crashed, causing plants to face significant losses on every gallon produced.

As ethanol plants were forced to slow production or idle altogether, markets down the supply stream were impacted too. Corn farmers struggled. Food and beverage companies and water treatment facilities that use carbon dioxide from our plants faced shortages. Livestock owners who purchase dried distillers grains (DDGs) to feed their cattle had to find more costly and less nutritious alternatives. As cars returned to the road, gasoline and ethanol demand has steadily risen, but production remains below pre-pandemic levels, and financial relief remains key to our industry’s recovery.

Growth Energy continues to support:

  • Assistance measures in the Senate bill (S. 3756) led by Sens. Grassley (R-IA) and Klobuchar (D-MN) that would reimburse for feedstock purchases in Q1 of 2020
  • The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program
    • Designed to provide direct payroll relief to qualified small businesses

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Always a premier industry event! Our Past President & Board Member Andrea Kent “Zoomed in” to be a featured panelist alongside colleagues from @GrowthEnergy and @USGC talking global ethanol markets at Growth Energy's 2021 Executive Leadership Conference. 🇨🇦 🇺🇸 🇲🇽 #ELC2021 https://t.co/2qpYWtq8OX

via @RenewCan

Senior Vice President @JimPirolli was a featured panelist at Growth Energy's 2021 Executive Leadership Conference. The Andersons is proud to join the conversation of the environmental benefits of biofuels. https://t.co/dgb0nHust9

via @andersonsinc

For our final panel, we’re hearing from global #ethanol market pros on trade with our top ethanol partners across the globe and opportunities to grow these markets. #ELC2021 https://t.co/8SNqgeFdD0

via @GrowthEnergy

Carbon Opportunity discussion on the role of biofuels in a net zero carbon future, featuring panelists from @POETbiofuels, @eheinc, and @Harvard. #ELC2021 https://t.co/K4QZWxb6oF

via @GrowthEnergy