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2009 showed again growth in fuel ethanol production and consumption


28 Jul 2010



 Brussels, 28 July 2008

After a strong growth in 2008 (almost 60%) European fuel ethanol production continued to increase considerably in 2009 by 31%. This gives a clear signal to all doubters that European bioethanol is here to stay and to fulfill its increasingly important role in curbing greenhouse gas emissions and in contributing to energy security.

Total EU production in 2009 was an estimated 3.7 billion litres up from 2.8 billion litres the previous year. This represents a significant increase of 31%. Several countries increased their ethanol fuel production considerably in 2009. The biggest producer however is still France with an annual output in 2009 of 1,250 million litres. This represents an increase of 25% compared to 2008 (1,000 million litres). Second largest producing country is Germany, which constantly increased its production by 32% to 750 million litres (568 in 2008). Third biggest producer remained Spain with 465 million litres (+46% compared to 2008). In 6 out of 18 producing member states the production declined while the rest could either increase their production (10) or could keep it steady.

In 2009 two countries more than doubled their fuel ethanol output, namely Austria (+102%) and Sweden (+124%), which are now ranking as forth and fifth largest producer respectively.

Also on consumption side we see substantial growth. Total EU consumption of fuel ethanol in 2009 amounted to an estimated 4.3 billion litres (up from 3.5 billion litres in 2008). This constitutes a considerable increase of 23%. Biggest consuming country was Germany (1,143 million litres) followed by France (798) and Sweden (377 million litres). Compared to the overall size of its fuel sector, Sweden thus still is spearheading the relative ethanol fuel consumption.

Brazil is still the most important 3rd country supplier of ethanol for fuel. Due to lower ethanol production exports from Brazil reduced by around 200 million litres compared to 800 million litres of fuel ethanol exported to the EU in 2008. However, 2009 showed a strong increase in ethanol imports from Nicaragua, Costa Rica and for the first time, the U.S.A.. As EU trade statistics do not distinguish between ethanol imports by end-use it is not possible to tell how much precisely of all imported ethanol was used in the fuel stream.


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