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U.S. Grains Council sees ethanol opportunity in Japan

A board member for the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) says recent trade missions with Japan show promise for the ethanol industry.

Jim Reed tells Brownfield Japan is exploring changes to the ethanol content of its gasoline.

“To take their automotive fleet from an E3 standard to an E10.”  He says, “So if they go to direct blend and raise their blend up to 10%, they’d actually have a much better carbon footprint than what they’re doing currently with ETBE.”

He says that could be a boon for U.S. corn farmers.

“So their concerns are, can we supply it?” He says, “Are we also improving our carbon intensity score by adopting more and more sustainable production practices?”

Reed says the U.S. can meet that demand.

“We have a surplus of actual produced ethanol, as well as capacity at the plants right now.”  He says, “Obviously we have a large carryover of actual corn.  From the numbers we ran we would have no problem meeting their needs for both the aviation and the automotive fleet.”

Reed says the Japanese government is expected to make its decision on blends later this year. 

He says there’s already been positive movement.

We also met with two different groups of Toyota.”  He says, “They are very much for this bump up the E10 because they think it’s better for the engines and the carbon score for the vehicles that are already using E3.”

Reed and others with USGC recently traveled to Japan to further relations between the two countries.  Reed also hosted a Japanese delegation on his central Illinois farm earlier this year. 

AUDIO: Jim Reed – USGC board member & Illinois farmer

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