We expect Indian market for ethanol as auto fuel to grow, says Kurt Shultz of US Grains Council

Published: May 15, 2018 3:45:55 AM

Kurt Shultz, senior director (global strategies), US Grains Council, tells Prabhudatta Mishra that he look forward to India as an export destination on behalf of the association’s farm producers members.

Kurt Shultz, grains, us grains councilKurt Shultz.

Kurt Shultz, senior director (global strategies), US Grains Council, tells Prabhudatta Mishra that he look forward to India as an export destination on behalf of the association’s farm producers members. Excerpts:

How do you view India’s potential for your members?

We work for farm producers’ members to look for export markets for the US agriculture products. USGC is a commercial entity, we are a trade association which explore opportunities with local partners and market for US producers. Really we see lots of opportunity in Indian market. We look for where we can partner, where we can work more closely with Indian industries to build market opportunities for US producers, particularly in developing livestock and fuel market in India.

Did you find any trade opportunity?

India has a policy for the usage of ethanol in fuel and the government has a mandate of 10% blending. That is very exciting for us. We see that ethanol is good automobile fuel for environment. We believe that this market will grow. We are exporting ethanol to India, which is surely ethanol friendly. We would like to see the market to expand. India continues to develop its ethanol market and we can meet its shortfall of supply.

You want India to import the bio fuel directly from US or it should buy corn for processing into ethanol?

India has both the options, though imported ethanol is certainly cheaper. However, option is always there whether it wants cereal or other options that could be used to make the bio ethanol to make it economical. Only Indian industry can answer what they really want.

In US, what is the usage of ethanol you produce – for consumption or export?

In the US, blending is minimum 10% and in some areas you can go higher as well up to 100%. Up to 15% blended petrol can be used in any vehicle, but if you go higher, you need flexi vehicle. India has growing automobile market and faces issue of air pollution. So, ethanol can help solve some of those problems.

We produce a plenty of ethanol and apart from domestic consumption, we export too. We produce nearly 50 billion litres of ethanol, out of which we export nearly 4 billion litres. We export a lot to Brazil, which also exports to the US to some degree. So, we trade back and forth. We also export to Canada and India.

In India, the US ethanol comes to the industrial sector. In Philippines, they get ethanol from domestic producers and shortfall is met through imports. They import from US to meet the deficit. We want to work with Indian ethanol industry to highlight those opportunities.

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