U.S. Ethanol market

The US is the world's largest ethanol market.

The biofuels field began to develop with the National Clean Air Act of 2005, which targeted environmental improvement and lower dependance on imported oil. Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the targeted blending volumes for transport fuel, for each biofuel type, through the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2).


Stimulated by its national mandates, the US is the world’s largest ethanol player: it represents about half of global production, and half of world consumption. The USA is way ahead of Brazil (25%/25%), and the European Union (6%/6%).


Initially targeted at 36 bln gallons in 2022 (about double the 2013 mandates), the RFS2 has been confronted with lower gasoline consumption than in first expectations, in addition to the difficulty in blending more than 10%, known in the market as “blend wall”.


The US produces much more ethanol (which is corn-based) than it needs. Additional supply, which essentially depends on the corn market, is exported. The main destinations are Canada, Brazil and Asia. With an anti-dumping program, European Union is rarely reached.