Study shows ethanol producers took $8 billion hit because of COVID-19


A study conducted by the University of Florida and Arizona State University revealed the estimated economic loss ethanol producers will experience in 2020 is $7.9 billion.

That number jumps from $7.9 billion to $8.6 billion when unemployment is factored.

“The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 had a major negative impact on U.S. ethanol, gasoline, and oil prices and production,” the authors wrote. “COVID-19 has had a major impact on ethanol production.”

According to the Renewable Fuels Association, the study matches their internal analysis from July, which found producers could see about $7 billion in pandemic-related losses.

“This new, independent study confirms what has already been made painfully clear to the 350,000 men and women whose jobs are supported by the ethanol industry,” RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper said. “The COVID-19 pandemic caused fuel demand to plummet and forced scores of ethanol plants to shut down, resulting in steep economic losses for the industry. While market conditions have improved since the spring, the ethanol industry is still struggling to fully recover from the pandemic, and ethanol producers across the country remain under financial stress.”

Cooper also urged lawmakers to take action so ethanol producers are not left behind in the next COVID-related aid package.

“The HEROES Act passed by the House in May included emergency relief provisions for ethanol producers, and a similar measure was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Grassley and Klobuchar,” he said. “We remain hopeful that a fourth COVID-19 aid package, with emergency relief for ethanol producers, will finally be pushed over the goal line in the weeks ahead.”