EIA launched its February 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), according to which several recent trends in US biofuels markets will continue in 2020. In the outlook the production of fuel ethanol and net imports of biomass-based diesel remains the same, whereas net exports of fuel ethanol experience a decrease. State projects keep on supporting biofuel consumption through 2020; yet, biofuels remain a small share in the overall US liquid transportation fuels supply.
Specifically, the most common biofuels that are used both domestically and globally are fuel ethanol and biomass-based diesel.
EIA expects that the US fuel ethanol production will remain near the existent levels, decreasing slightly in 2019 to 1.04 million b/d and increasing to 1.05 million b/d in 2020.
In addition, the production of fuel ethanol depends on domestic motor gasoline consumption.
US ethanol exports account for an increasing share of production since 2013 and have contributed to market development.
EIA presumes net ethanol exports, which reached nearly 110,000 b/d in 2018, to experience a decrease to an average of 90,000 barrels in 2019 and 2020,mostly because record levels of ethanol exports to Brazil in early 2018 will not persist.
Also, biomass-based diesel production, except renewable diesel, was approximately 120,000 b/d in 2018 and grows to 160,000 b/d in 2020.
The overall biomass-based diesel production will rise from an estimated 134,000 b/d in 2018 to 174,000 b/d in 2020.
Domestic production development will continue being boosted by antidumping and countervailing duties placed on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia that went into effect in 2017.
Furthermore, US consumption of motor gasoline was 9.31 million b/d in 2018, and EIA forecasts that it will rise by less than 1% annually to 9.36 million b/d by 2020.
The share of biomass-based diesel in diesel fuel increases from 3.6% in 2018 to 4.5% in 2020.
EIA expects that the demand for renewable diesel will grow, including both stand-alone production facilities as well as petroleum refiners that co-process renewable feedstocks in downstream units such as hydrotreaters.
Concluding, firstly, fuel ethanol is mixed with motor gasoline blendstock in the United States to produce 10% ethanol blended motor gasoline, or E10.
Biomass-based diesel, which collectively refers to biodiesel and renewable diesel, is typically mixed with ultra-low sulfur distillate fuel at varying percentages.
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