The Colombian government increased its national blend mandate for ethanol to E10 as of the beginning of this month. Government officials in Colombia say sugar prices dropped considerably in early 2018, encouraging the production of ethanol, which led to the mandated increase. Colombia has a growing domestic ethanol industry, producing sugar-based ethanol.
Additionally, U.S. ethanol enters Colombia duty-free per the terms of the U.S.–Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, but the government’s current low-carbon fuel standard discriminates against corn-based ethanol. Still, some U.S. refineries can meet the greenhouse gas emission reductions required in the standard.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Grains Council says the organization is working with Colombia to ensure the country’s biofuels policies “allow for a competitive market while also complying with the government’s GHG reduction goals.”
Colombia set a new record for U.S. ethanol imports in 2016-2017, purchasing more than 13 million gallons. Imports in the current marketing year have more than doubled year-over-year to 9.62 million gallons.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.