Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ethanol industry hopeful despite recent setbacks

"The executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association said Tuesday that more biofuels plants might close because of tight profit margins, but that demand for ethanol should be maintained," reports Dan Pillar of The Des Moines Register. "In Iowa, about one-tenth of the 3 billion gallons of ethanol capacity in the state now is idled through the bankruptcy of plants or production slowdowns," writes Pillar.

There are favorable signs for a turnaround in the industry. Federally mandated use of ethanol is scheduled to increase from 9 billion gallons last year to 10.5 billion gallons this year and the price of corn has dropped from $8 per bushel last summer to less than $4 per bushel in recent weeks. There has been a corresponding drop in the price of ethanol, but many remain optimistic. Favorable sentiment in Congress and the White House is seen as crucial. (Read more)

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