On December 5, 2014 11:33 am
By Mario Parker
The U.S. is adding ethanol to the list of fuels it dominates in world markets.
Exports of the additive derived from corn rose 31 percent this year to the highest level since 2011, meeting demand from South Korea to Persian Gulf oil producers. The growth in sales follows a tripling of gasoline and diesel exports since 2009.
While the shale-oil boom created a stream of refined products flowing overseas, the ethanol surge is being driven by record crops. The U.S. is producing about 66 million metric tons more corn than a decade ago, almost as much as the rest of the world will export this year. Global demand for U.S. ethanol is helping ward off a glut after the government eased obligations to blend the fuel with gasoline.
“They have to have an export market,” Wallace Tyner, an agricultural economist at Purdue Universityin West Lafayette, Indiana, said by phone yesterday. “We’ve got excess capacity. It’s there, it’s ready, it’s reasonably priced.”