The impact of biofuels mandates on grain and oilseed
click image to zoom The future outlook for continued growth in corn-based ethanol use is clouded by several factors, including the 10% blend wall, slow implementation of higher blends, declining total gasoline demand, and ethanol imports from Brazil. One might be tempted to conclude that the biofuels-fueled boom in crop prices is coming to an end as corn consumption for ethanol levels out and corn production begins to catch up. Instead, it is possible that the new era of higher crop prices could be extended well into the future as a result of the RFS for advanced biofuels that in all likelihood can only be met with a rapid expansion in biodiesel production. The new price era, then, would not be extended by rising corn demand, but by rising vegetable oil demand. Whether this scenario actually is realized depends crucially on the evolution of biofuels policy here in the U.S. and energy policies in Brazil.
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