Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) said it would restart ethanol production at two of its US corn dry mills this year as it expected demand for the biofuel to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company decided to temporarily idle ethanol production at its facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Columbus, Nebraska, last April due to lower petroleum demand.
Demand for corn-based ethanol, blended into petrol, is set to rise as people are expected to start driving more as COVID-19 vaccinations gather pace and as China imports more volumes, ADM said in a statement.
The commodities trader also said ethanol sales would get a boost from steadily declining global inventories and the US Environmental Protection Agency's support for a strong renewable fuel standard, under which refiners have to blend biofuels into petrol and diesel or buy credits.
"We've been carefully monitoring a wide variety of industry ethanol conditions, and in recent weeks, we've seen consistent signs pointing to accelerating demand for domestic ethanol," an ADM spokesman said.
ADM expected initial ethanol deliveries for customers by mid-April and said it would ramp up production to full capacity at the two facilities later in the year to meet demands of the summer driving season.
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