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:
Introducing @GetBioethanol: Whether it’s delivering cleaner and cooler high octane on the race track or on your drive to the grocery store, plant-based bioethanol makes a lasting impact on our planet and for future generations. nascar.com/news-media/202… twitter.com/GetBioethanol/…
From the July issue: Driving Behaviors and Gallons. #ethanol #e15 https://t.co/e2ZlboKTE1 https://t.co/2XcVKG4R3H
Farm & #biofuel leaders warn @EPAMichaelRegan & @BrianDeeseNEC against “return to the #biofuel demand destruction that shut down rural manufacturing jobs, deprived farmers of market opportunities, and threatened U.S. progress toward decarbonization." https://t.co/GEKzSyOnpo