Ethanol, biodiesel output, use to fall this year

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    The Philippines’ ethanol and biodiesel production will drop this year in line with the decline in overall fuel consumption due to the pandemic.

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a report said Philippine ethanol production will go down by 20.5 percent to 275 million liters this year from 346 million liters in 2019.

    USDA said consumption by yearend will reach 500 million liters, down 17-percent decline from 2019’s 603 million liters.

    The Philippines’ fuel ethanol imports for the year are projected to decline 12 percent to 225 million liters from 257 million liters in 2019, most of which are sourced from the US.

    But USDA expects partial recovery in local ethanol production by next year as the economy reopens.

    Biodiesel production for the year is seen to drop by almost 28 percent to 175 million liters from 242 million liters while consumption will decline by 15 percent to 185 million liters from 2019’s 218 million liters.

    Petroleum oil products sold in the country must be blended with 10 percent ethanol and 2 percent biodiesel. There are proposals in Congress to raise the current blend.

    Locally, bioethanol is mainly derived from sugar cane while biodiesel is sourced from copra.