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Jul 31, 2012

US meat producers seek ethanol waiver

Don't hold your breath....

The US livestock and poultry industry urged federal regulators to suspend a government mandate for ethanol use for the first time as a severe drought lifts the price of corn feed.

A coalition of beef, pork, chicken and dairy producers said the US Renewable Fuel Standard – which requires billions of gallons of corn-based ethanol to be blended with motor fuel – should be waived “in whole or in substantial part” for 12 months.

The waiver request comes as drought covers nearly all the US corn-growing area and has driven corn prices above $8 a bushel for the first time. Ethanol production and animal feed are the two top uses of the US corn crop, putting refiners and livestock companies in competition for scarce stocks.

“The extraordinary and disastrous circumstances created for livestock and poultry producers by the ongoing drought in the heart of our grain growing regions requires that all relevant measures of relief be explored and taken where possible,” the coalition said in a formal petition to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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