Iowa ethanol producers are hosting a delegation from Mexico this month.

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw says it’s a group involved in retail fuel sales in Mexico.

“They’ve had a state-owned oil monopoly for a long time that they’ve cracked open and are now allowing competition,” Shaw says.

And, in 2017, Mexico, began allowing fuel with a 10 percent ethanol blend to be sold outside the the three largest cities in the country. Shaw says these changes make Mexico an “emerging” market for ethanol produced in the U.S.

“Right now, Mexico is the number two export market for US ethanol production,” Shaw says, “about 350 million gallons.”

That’s roughly equal to the annual output of more than three of the largest ethanol plants in Iowa according to Shaw. Most of the U.S. ethanol exported to Mexico has been used to make perfumes, solvents and beverages.