Last update : 28.10.2010
Contribution of the ethanol industry to the economy of the United States
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By all accounts, 2009 was a volatile year for the American economy, and the ethanol industry was no exception. The combination of unstable commodity prices and weak motor fuel demand caused by the worst recession in decades presented a significant challenge for ethanol producers. Commodity prices retreated from the record levels set during the 2008 commodity price bubble, but the effects of the bubble and its subsequent burst were felt well into 2009. The bursting of the bubble was followed by consolidation and ownership changes, as new entrants to the ethanol industry acquired plants idled by bankrupt firms. As a result, both industry capacity and production increased. Despite the challenges to profitability, the ethanol industry continued to grow and met the Renewable Fuel Standard target of 10.5 billion gallons for 2009. Nationally, total ethanol production increased 14.7% to an estimated 10.6 billion gallons. At year’s end, the ethanol industry comprised approximately 200 plants in 26 states with production capacity of 13.1 billion gallons. The economic challenges of 2008 and 2009 continue to leave 12 plants representing approximately 1.2 billion gallons of capacity idled1. Additionally, 11 plants representing 806 million gallons of new capacity were under construction at year’s end while another 626 million gallons of capacity was being expanded to existing plants. This study estimates the contribution of the ethanol industry to the American economy in 2009.
Added on 18 February 2010
United States & Canada
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