Last update : 28.10.2010
Contribution of the ethanol industry to the economy of the US
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2008 was a year of unprecedented challenges for the biofuels industry. Producers were faced with a commodity boom that resulted in record grain, oilseed, and oil prices by mid-year followed by a collapse in oil, grain and ethanol prices that erased profitability by year’s end. Ethanol producers were affected by the collapse of the financial markets that made access to operating credit and capital for expansion and new construction virtually unobtainable. At year’s end, the ethanol industry comprised 172 operating plants in 25 states with production capacity of 10.6 billion gallons. The economic challenges in 2008 prompted a wave of bankruptcies including one major producer that closed 12 plants representing nearly 1.2 billion gallons of capacity. Nationwide, 23 ethanol plants accounting for 1.7 billion gallons of capacity were idled during the year. Despite the challenge to profitability the ethanol industry continued to grow. Nationally, total ethanol capacity expanded 34%. The ethanol industry met the Renewable Fuel Standard target of nine billion gallons for 2008 and, despite the bleak economic outlook is poised to meet future targets. This study estimates the contribution of the ethanol industry to the American economy in 2008.
Added on 26 February 2009
United States & Canada
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