Next April, some Indian gas stations will begin retailing gasoline with a 20-percent ethanol blend, per the Business Standard.
India is estimated to be the fifth-largest manufacturer of ethanol. The Modi administration has pursued bioethanol fuel use aggressively for several years to increase the country’s energy independence and improve its balance of trade and support its sugarcane industry.
Domestic ethanol production in 2022 is estimated by FAS at 3.5 billion liters, consumption at 4.5 billion liters. In 2021, production and consumption were 3.3 and 3.7 billion liters, respectively. The 2022 ethanol blend rate was estimated near 9.3 percent, up from 8.1 percent in 2021 and 5.0 percent in 2020. For 2022, the official blend target is 10 percent, rising to 20 percent by 2025.
In the current season, ISMA estimates that India had 252 ethanol refinery facilities with nameplate capacity of 5.7 billion liters, up from 231 facilities in 2021 with capacity of 4.3 billion liters.
With various policies in place to encourage ethanol consumption and use, ethanol manufacturing from other feedstocks, such as rice straw, is now also under construction. More recently, the government announced that several automobile makers plan to market vehicles with flex-fuel engines, per the Financial Express.
While imports for 2022 are expected near 0.6 billion liters, close to 2021 levels, this is below imports closer to 0.7 billion liters in 2019 and 2020. Out of these, the U.S. exports of ethanol to India were 664 million liters in 2020, falling to 592 million liters in 2021. The decline was possible as Brazil took up a bigger share of Indian imports, from 250,000 liters in 2020 to 56 million liters in 2021.
India ethanol production, consumption, and trade
Source: ISMA, USDA, McKeany-Flavell
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