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USDA FAS: India’s average ethanol blend rate to reach record 5.8%

In its India: Biofuels Annual 2019 report, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) observes that India’s average blending rate for ethanol in gasoline is expected to reach a record 5.8%, up from a previous record 4.1% last year and considerably higher than historical levels.

A surplus sugar season coupled with a stronger incentive to convert excess sugar to ethanol is helping the oil-marketing companies (OMCs) procure upwards of 2.4 billion liters (634 million gallons US) this year.

An upsurge in demand for the ethanol blending program (EBP) and consequent tight supply for industrial and potable use will encourage ethanol imports (mostly denatured) to grow 19% year-over-year to a record 750 million liters, according to the report. The biodiesel market remains nearly nonexistent due to limited access to feedstock limited production capacity, a rudimentary supply chain, and import restrictions.

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