Summertime E15 sales have some limitations

A biofuels market expert says President Biden’s recent ethanol waiver opening summertime E15 sales will boost ethanol demand but maybe not as much as some expect.

Jarrett Whistance with the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute says ‘consumers are creatures of habit’ and challenges remain.

“Finding ways to incentivize consumers to actually purchase the fuel, but then also, incentivizing retailers to actually sell the fuel,” Whistance said. “Given the temporary nature [of the waiver], it may or may not attract a lot of new retailers right away.”

He tells Brownfield there are scattered concerns of infrastructure limitations.

“There’s some concern about whether it’s compatible with existing infrastructure,” he said. “In a lot of cases, it’s mostly approved [but] there’re still a few places where maybe you have to redo your tanks and that’s part of your cost. And again, that gets around to the temporary nature of the waiver.”

Whistance said a longer-term waiver would better incentivize retailers to invest in new ethanol infrastructure.

He said FAPRI’s long-term outlook expects ethanol demand to increase anyway.

Brownfield interviewed Whistance at the University of Missouri’s Abner Womack Missouri Agriculture Outlook Conference Wednesday.

Jarrett Whistance Interview

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