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Page added on February 26, 2009

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US ethanol sector faces grim prospects-USDA

WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Hard times have hit the once-robust U.S. ethanol sector amid the economic recession, with as much as 15 percent of production capacity likely standing idle, USDA chief economist Joseph Glauber said on Thursday.

It was a sobering assessment of the fledging industry that was once bursting with optimism and financial gains as the country issued mandates on using the renewable fuel to reduce dependence on crude oil.

“The U.S. ethanol industry remains under significant financial pressure as the result of current economic conditions …,” Glauber told the annual USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Virginia.

He said slowing gasoline consumption and lower prices have reduced incentives for blending ethanol in recent months.

Reuters UK

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