South Korea imported 58.9 million gallons of US ethanol (20.9 million bushels in corn equivalent) for industrial uses from January to July 2020, up nearly 53% year on year.
This total constitutes 55% market share, with competition primarily from Brazil, China and Pakistan.
This uptick in demand is opening doors for the US Grains Council (USGC) and partners to build new partnerships to expand demand potential for ethanol across Asia – both for industrial uses and fuel.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has altered ethanol markets around the world,” said Haksoo Kim, USGC director in South Korea.
“The demand for US ethanol for industrial use in South Korea has increased significantly due to high demand for sanitising products in South Korea and throughout the region.
“Despite these short-term impacts, fuel ethanol demand remains viable for expansion in the future, and the council is working to increase market access in individual countries in the region.”
The council met virtually with KC&A, the largest US ethanol importer and distributor in Asia, on August 24 to discuss the obstacles and opportunities for export expansion in the region.
Representatives from three of the Council’s offices – the headquarters office in Washington, D.C., the Southeast Asia regional office in Kuala Lumpur and the South Korea office – all participated in the meeting.
“The council and KC&A worked to increase our understanding of the changing ethanol markets in the United States, South Korea and Southeast Asia,” Kim said. “By sharing information and knowledge, we will cooperate to expand and develop ethanol markets in the region.”
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