Retailers say recovery in fuel demand will be slow
The pace of recovery in the ethanol industry depends on how quickly overall fuel demand gets back to pre-COVID levels.
Randy Gard with Nebraska-based Pump & Pantry convenience stores thinks it could be another six months or more.
“It could take until the second quarter next year before people kind of come out of their huts and start traveling again,” Gard says.
Nathaniel Doddridge with Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores says some changes in travel behavior may be permanent—for instance, a lot more people working at home.
“That morning daypart of driving to work looks a lot different—and therefore, that traffic never comes back,” Doddridge says. “Recreational traffic is hampered because of just the lack of things that you can do now—going shopping and things like that. So online shopping, things like that, definitely change the landscape.”
Gard and Doddridge were part of a panel discussion Wednesday during the American Coalition for Ethanol’s annual conference, which was held virtually this year.