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Trade War Hurting the U.S. Ethanol Industry ‘Badly’ -U.S. Grains Council

NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - The U.S.-China trade war is hurting the U.S. ethanol industry “badly,” Mike Dwyer, chief economist of the U.S. Grains Council, said on Wednesday at an event at New York Sugar week:

  • “Without the tariff protection we would probably supply 90%-plus of all (ethanol) import needs they (China) had,” Dwyer said while on a panel with Renewable Fuels Association chief economist Scott Richman.
  • The trade conflict between the two countries escalated just about a year after China said it would target the roll-out of gasoline known as “E10,” containing 10% ethanol, by 2020. This was expected to bolster the country’s demand for U.S. ethanol.
  • “The reality is that the tariff war has hurt us badly. It was horrible timing.”
  • “If this trade war ended tomorrow you would see margins expand by 10¢ a gallon,” Dwyer said.
  • While domestic measures like the promised expansion of higher ethanol gasoline blends such as E15 help, trade issues need to be resolved for the industry to thrive.
  • “Exports are the future of our industry - even more so than E15,” Dwyer said.

(Reporting by Ayenat Mersie; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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