The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission and energy administration recently announced a plan to extend the use of biofuels throughout the country by 2020. RFA president Bob Dinneen calls the move a step in the right direction, but says some important questions need to be answered.
“Right now, all they’ve really done is said that there’s a plan in place that would allow the use of higher level blends. But, they have not yet removed their barriers to U.S. ethanol that could help them meet such a lofty target,” Dinneen says. He projects Chinese ethanol demand could exceed four billion gallons. Dinneen says China – the world’s third largest ethanol producer behind the U.S. and Brazil – can’t achieve that objective alone.
“And yet, they’ve got a huge tariff in place that really makes U.S. ethanol impossible to get into the country. So, we hope to work with them, and we certainly hope that they will work with us to open up free and fair trade on ethanol, as well as distillers feed,” Dinneen said. Iowa is the top ethanol producing state in the U.S. Dinneen points out having former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as Ambassador to China should prove beneficial, given his longtime support of renewable fuels.
(Thanks Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield Ag News)