Plummeting Ethanol Production and Potential Impacts on Planting Decisions

USDA’s 2020 Prospective Plantings report estimates planted acres for corn this year at 97.0 million acres, up 8 percent or 7.29 million acres from last year. But when farmers were surveyed a month ago, coronavirus had yet to have the impact it is now having on ethanol demand and prices thanks to a drastic cut in demand for gasoline with millions of Americans staying at home.

The latest EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report for the week ending March 27 is the first to reflect more fully the impact on the ethanol industry from the social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions associated with COVID-19.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Geoff Cooper discusses the drop in demand and how it might impact planting decisions.
RFA CEO Geoff Cooper discusses drop in ethanol demand (2:24)

In this interview, RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman analyses the EIA numbers and also talks about how the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill will help ethanol plants, how planting intentions might change, and ethanol plants making hand sanitizer.

RFA chief economist Scott Richman analyses EIA numbers (9:26)