The global and regional ethanol markets are largely unbalanced and heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand for ethanol in motor fuels and fuel additives, which is a main ethanol consumption area, has dropped significantly. Likewise, ethanol consumption in many industrial applications has also plummeted. According to some analytics, the COVID-19 outbreak may reduce the demand for ethanol on the US market by 24 mln mty, which accounts for about 50% of the current US ethanol capacity. It is worthwhile to mention here that the North American ethanol market is the largest in the world.
Ethanol: structure of the global production capacity broken down by region
The demand for ethanol is soaring in sanitiser applications and DNA/RNA extraction, which is also strengthened by the non-toxic character of ethanol. Ethanol is used in most common antibacterial hand sanitizer gels at a concentration of about 62% as an antiseptic. Ethanol proves to be effective against most bacteria, fungi and many viruses but is ineffective against bacterial spores. This created the severe shortage of sanitisers on different markets. Key ethanol manufacturers, like US major producer Poet, LLC (with almost 6 mln mty in ethanol capacity and 28 production facilities across seven US states), are putting best efforts to meet the growing demand for antiseptics. Poet is also engaged in donating large volumes of all-natural ethanol-based sanitisers to US hospitals, emergency services, nursing homes, firefighter stations, critical infrastructure personnel, and other frontline workers.
In these turbulent and harsh times, entering into partnerships with various companies has become a viable strategy in arranging supplies with ethanol-based sanitisers. For instance, POET partnered with South Dakota companies, including Senproco Inc. to bottle sanitizers and Cimarron to provide the labels for them. Currently, multiple marketing experts notice an extraordinary rise in business partnerships. This assists in meeting the growing demand for sanitisers and disinfectants, in particular, and in combating various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, in general. For instance, Clariant is boosting the production of disinfectants on the basis of bioethanol provided by CropEnergies AG. Another viable strategy should become the policy of easing off ethanol sales rules.
A detailed guide to the global ethanol market is provided in the in-demand research study “Ethanol (EtOH): 2020 World Market Outlook and Forecast up to 2029”.