Amid improving technology and globalization, we often hear that the world feels like a smaller place. So why should the biofuels industry be any different?

This week’s top headlines help show how intertwined our economies and supply chains are—and what significant role bioenergy is already playing in that regard worldwide.

China may import biofuels ahead of E10 production ramp up

As previously announced, China plans to dramatically boost ethanol use in its gasoline supply, moving to E10 blends by 2020. Considering China is the world’s largest car market and already ranks third in fuel ethanol consumption, this may cause corn markets to move higher, according to Peter Meyer of S&P Global Platts.

Implementing the mandate by 2020—less than 2.5 years away—is seen as ambitious. And, Meyer added, China may not have the production capacity to supply the mandate domestically. So if the country holds true on its goal of 2020, it would create a boom in demand for global ethanol.

“I think it starts to hit us in 2019, because if they start to ramp up in ’20, we’re not going to see it until ’19, so we’re still going to have to get through the ’18 crop year before we start to see it,” he said.

Get more details on this story at the Fence Post.

Biomass project in Japan gets local finance

A group of Japanese banks have funded a biomass project financing in the northwest of the country, to the tune of about $105 million.

In an effort to diversify its energy mix, the Japanese government has been promoting renewable energy through generous feed-in tariffs for the past five years. Wind and solar tariffs, however, have been cut in half over the past 12 months, with biomass seen as a lucrative alternative.

Construction on the plant in Kamisu started in June and is due to complete in May 2019. The finished wood biomass power facility will have a capacity of 24MW.

The government is hoping to triple Japan’s biomass power generation capacity by 2030. It views biomass as a less volatile sector than wind or solar energy, since it does not depend on favorable weather conditions.

Read more at Global Trade Review.

Taiwan pledges to purchase US corn, DDGS

Members of the 2017 Taiwan Agricultural Goodwill Mission have pledged to purchase 5 million metric tons (197 million bushels) of U.S. corn and 500,000 tons of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) between 2018 and 2019.

The commitment was made during a signing ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The members of the Goodwill Mission also signed letters of intent to purchase soybeans and wheat.

Taiwan is an important market for U.S. agricultural products, particularly U.S. grains. Taiwan is the fifth largest market for U.S. corn. Thus far in the 2016-17 marketing year (September-July) Taiwan has purchased 2.91 million tons (114.5 million bushels) of U.S. corn, the highest sales in the last seven marketing years. Taiwan also ranks as the third largest buyer of U.S. barley in 2016-‘17.

Learn more at Ethanol Producer Magazine.

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Geoff Hayward

Communications Writer at Novozymes
Geoff writes about Bioenergy for the Communications team at Novozymes. When he isn’t advocating for an industry that’s changing the world for the better, he can be found on a North Carolina bike path or playing slide guitar.