News & Ideas

Trade panel to provide status update, export demand drivers during ACE conference next week

Sioux Falls, SD (August 8, 2018) – The 31st annual American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) conference August 15-17 in Minneapolis will feature efforts underway around the world to expand ethanol exports, despite escalating trade tensions and tariffs.

Exports have been a bright spot for the ethanol industry, and speakers will address export destinations, demand drivers, and the status of trade negotiations and tariffs. Duane Kristensen, ACE Board President representing Chief Ethanol Fuels, will moderate a discussion between Max Thomasson, Director of Global Trading with CHS Inc., and Jon Doggett, Interim CEO of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). The panel “How Can Exports Overcome Tariffs and Tensions?” will conclude the ACE conference agenda on Friday, August 17.

Thomasson’s presentation will highlight demand drivers for ethanol and DDG exports, key export destinations on the horizon, and the roadblocks in the way from reaching these potential markets. “Global exports of ethanol from the U.S. have been steadily increasing since 2013 to new record highs of 1.379 billion gallons in 2017,” Thomasson said. “The profile is very similar for DDGs. However, continued improvements in plant efficiency and yield have nameplate capacity for U.S. ethanol production increasing at a faster rate than domestic demand and exports combined.”

“This has put margins under pressure as inventories continue to rise year on year,” Thomasson added. “What is the prospect for continued growth in exports, what destinations will be key to opening up new demand and what obstacles exist, these questions will be answered in the panel discussion.”

Doggett of NCGA will offer some perspective from the stance of corn farmers while providing a situation report on trade negotiations and how they’re impacting the agriculture and biofuel industries. “Farmers are looking for market certainty. Whether that’s in the form of new export markets, bettering the relationship with our current export customers, or RVP [Reid vapor pressure] parity to grow the domestic ethanol market,” Doggett said. “With corn farmers facing their fifth year of declining farm incomes, we need markets we can rely on.” 

Click here for audio & more details on the panel post conference.

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