U.S. ethanol production and use are better than they were in spring 2020, but lagging compared to one year ago. “Looking into the winter months, use may continue to decline,” said David Ripplinger, bioenergy economic specialist, NDSU Extension. “The bigger question is do we get back to where we were pre-COVID in the next 12 to 18 months. Generally, that’s what folks are expecting. I think that may be a bit optimistic, because we need folks driving.” In North Dakota, there are relatively good margins for corn ethanol. “We’re facing a corn deficit here, driving up corn prices, but for the most part, there’s been give on the ethanol side. Right now, most North Dakota ethanol plants are looking at the future, maintaining markets and reducing their carbon footprint.”
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