Global Marketplace

Biofuels are the most cost effective and expeditious solution for nations looking to achieve their carbon reduction goals. More than 60 countries currently have a standard or statutory commitment to using more renewable fuel, and that number is only going up—presenting a huge opportunity to American biofuels producers. In addition to bioethanol, bioprocessors also contribute to the global agricultural supply chain by exporting dried distillers’ grains (DDGs) to feed livestock around the world too—another market where demand for American product is only growing. Tariffs, technical trade barriers, and outdated lifecycle analysis (LCA) techniques jeopardize the ability of American innovators in the bioeconomy to satisfy the growing demand for lower-carbon fuels and high-protein animal feed across the globe. Policymakers should embrace free trade, set carbon intensity standards in a way that accounts for American innovation, and work to eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers that prevent the U.S. from providing more of the world’s fuels and feed.

Biofuels in the global marketplace are one of the most cost effective and expeditious solutions for nations looking to lower their emissions.

The Asks

  • Ensure access to key global markets like Canada, India, Brazil, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
  • Push to remove Brazil’s import tariff on American ethanol.
  • Address non-tariff barriers in place that further complicate our bilateral ethanol trade with Brazil and other countries around the world.

How Does America’s Bioeconomy Fit into the Global Marketplace?

The U.S. is the world leader of bioethanol production, consumption, and exports, purchasing 500 million bushels of corn to produce about 15 billion gallons of bioethanol each year. About 10% of that total is exported annually. The value of that bioethanol is $4 billion, and the value of the corn purchased is $3 billion. The U.S. bioethanol industry also exports 11 million metric tons of dried distillers’ grains (DDGS), a nutrient-rich animal feed made during bioethanol production, with a total market value of about $4 billion.

The world average blend rate (excluding the U.S. and Brazil, which is the second largest producer and consumer of bioethanol), is about 2%. Growth Energy’s goal of reaching a 10% average blend rate globally represents a huge growth opportunity, as does the growing global demand for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Which Countries Are the Biofuels Sector’s Biggest Trading Partners?

Our strongest trading partner for the past several years has been Canada. The country’s national Clean Fuel Regulation took effect in July 2023, meaning their demand for ethanol is expected to grow. Other top export destinations are South Korea, India, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Mexico.

How Does Growth Energy Advocate on behalf of the U.S. Bioeconomy abroad?

Growth Energy is not focused solely on expanding the number of bioethanol gallons sold and used at home. Increasing demand abroad is also a cornerstone of our advocacy because doing so would benefit all domestic bioethanol producers, even if they’re not the ones exporting. The global market presents a significant growth opportunity for American bioethanol exports and for their ability to drive demand for U.S. corn. We work in conjunction with other industry leaders to raise awareness and bolster the reputation of bioethanol overseas, while also advising foreign governments on how to successfully implement smart biofuels regulations and legislation. Our goal is to drive market growth beyond U.S. borders—an effort that has and continues to pay dividends.

What Impact Would Growth Energy’s Policy Priorities Have on Consumers, the Economy, or the Environment?

  • Tariffs, technical trade barriers, and inaccurate carbon intensity scores pose challenges to U.S exporters looking to satisfy growing biofuels demand across the globe. The fewer roadblocks biorefineries face in their efforts to ship goods overseas, the greater the benefit to their operations and to the rural communities they support.
  • Canada, Japan, and other countries’ continued commitment to expanding the use of biofuels to decarbonize their liquid fuel sectors has the potential to expand U.S. biofuels exports in a way that economically and environmentally benefits all parties.