Buenos Aires, March 11th. According to the Energy Secretariat database, corn-based ethanol production dropped from 50.443 cubic meters in January 2018 to 39,815 m3 this year. This is the lowest volume since October 2016 when the industry produced 35,583 cubic meters.

Until now, corn ethanol had maintained steady production growth pattern. Along 2018 the five plants installed in the country had produced 585.619 m3, 6% above 2017. But the beginning of the year brought bad news for this industry. While sugarcane ethanol production dropped 8%, corn ethanol dropped 21%.

The worst performance was led by Promaiz, a JV between Bunge and Aceitera General Deheza, based at Alejandro (Cordoba Province) that passed from elaborate 14,373 m3 in January 2018 to 7,587 m3 this year. In the following chart by RIA Consultores for www.eFarmNewsAr.com it can see the interannual performance of the five plants.

“As the gasoline demand during January dropped, oil companies reduced its ethanol purchases for the mandatory blend; and February was the same”, consultant Claudio Molina told to www.eFarmNewsAr.com

“But the key issue in the bioethanol business in Argentina is the conflict between some plants and the Government, fueled by the Energy Secretariat’s decision to give new quotas for the mandatory blend to some companies, not for all ones”, Molina added.

A few days ago, the Energy Secretariat published its order 57/2019 giving 58,000 m3 of new quota to Maíz Energía SA, and other 30,000 m3 to Bioenergías Agropecuarias SA, and enlarging 63% the quota to Bio4 and 66% to Vicentin.