Study highlights impact of COVID-19 on ethanol
US ethanol sales could fall more than $10 billion and ethanol producer loss is estimated to be about $8 billion in 2020 because of COVID-19, according to a new study by economists from the University of Florida and Arizona State University.
The study says the estimates likely “understate the cost of COVID-19” to the industry because the impact on co-product output, demand, and prices is not included.
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper says the study highlights the importance of ensuring ethanol producers are not left out of any future stimulus package.
House leaders have introduced a pared down coronavirus relief bill that provides direct support for biofuels plants impacted by COVID-19.
Cooper says while market conditions have improved since the spring, the ethanol industry is still struggling to recover from the pandemic.
He says the new study also confirms the findings of an RFA analysis published in July.
Cooper says the industry remains hopeful that a fourth COVID-19 aid package, with emergency relief for ethanol producers, will be passed in the coming weeks.