In Washington, D.C., U.S. Grains Council reports that the first shipment of ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) made with U.S. corn-based ethanol arrived in Japan last week, marking the country’s new demand for U.S. ethanol-based products and a milestone in U.S. ethanol market development efforts.
The sale of ETBE, a gasoline component, was made following a policy change by the Japanese government recognizing the positive greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits. The shift allows for U.S. corn-based ethanol to be eligible for production of ETBE brought into Japan, in addition to sugarcane-based ethanol.
The first ETBE shipment from the United States, purchased by Japan Biofuels Supply LLP, unloaded at Chiba port near Tokyo and then Wakayama port near Osaka. The shipment of 13.5 million gallons represents 2 million bushels of corn demand.
Japan will now allow U.S. ethanol to meet up to 44 percent of a total estimated demand of 217 million gallons of ethanol used to make ETBE, or potentially 95.5 million gallons of U.S.-produced ethanol annually. Japan imports nearly all ETBE from ethanol it uses.