US ethanol ‘roller-coaster’ faces a big year

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There’s really no escaping international politics in the US at present, especially for businesses whose domestic opportunities are softening and who had been looking towards customers in China as a good way to keep sales and prices moving in the right direction.

This is certainly the case for North America’s ethanol producers, who find themselves at the front line of US President Donald Trump’s determination to secure a fairer trading relationship with China and who seems to be prepared to conduct a lengthy tariff war, if necessary, to achieve his objectives.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO, Geoff Cooper, in recounting the US industry’s roller-coaster ride in selling ethanol to China over the last few years, steered clear of passing an opinion on how the current tariff dispute is being handled, when questioned by Biofuels International. His summary of events, however, shows how much all sides of the present US/China trade war need to find a solution, and the sooner the better.

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