RFA CEO optimistic about ethanol exports despite slow start

The head of the Renewable Fuels Association expects another strong year for ethanol exports despite a sluggish beginning to 2023.

Geoff Cooper tells Brownfield he’s optimistic the pace will pick up.

“We’re certainly hopeful that it’s going to be stronger, I don’t think we’ll be any lower than we were in 2022. We’ve gotten off to a little bit of a slow start in 2023, but I think there’s potential to catch up and exceed where we were (last year).”

He says Canada continues to be the leading importer of U.S. ethanol, there’s growth in South Korea, and European imports are at levels not seen in six or seven years even with tariffs in place.

“And I think it’s because of what is happening in Europe, right. They are looking for any fuel they can find in that marketplace right now, and paying high prices to get it. So we can get into that marketplace even with that duty.”

Longer-term, Cooper says there’s tremendous opportunity in India as that country moves to an E20 ethanol standard.

Brownfield spoke to Cooper during the 2023 National Ethanol Conference in Orlando Wednesday.

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