Ethanol market participants at odds over Chinese import viab

There was considerable debate about the role of China as a potential export market for ethanol in the long run during the FO Licht Sugar & Ethanol conference held in Bangkok, Thailand Thursday, as speakers took opposite sides over the matter.

China has garnered significant market interest of late, as the country's ethanol imports had reached an all-time high in 2015 at 686,907 cu m.

Nearly 70% of that volume was the denatured fuel-grade variant, which is predominantly used for gasoline blending.

While latest figures showed January imports shrinking by nearly three quarters from the previous month's high to 46,993 cu m, the figure is expected to rebound in the coming months as more cargoes make their way into the region.

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