There’s good news from Japan

Iowa’s growing ethanol industry just got some very good news. Japan has opened its huge marketplace to ethanol manufactured from corn. Until the recent decision by the Japanese government to make this change most of the ethanol sold there was produced from sugarcane.

This is a major boost for the Hawkeye State because Japan has an enormous economy. Its GDP ranks third in the world behind only the United States and China

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a statement recently welcoming this important development.

“Today is a great day for Iowa farmers and our state’s renewable fuels industry,” Reynolds said. “With Japan opening its market to U.S. ethanol, Iowa can further expand our trade opportunities in that region of the world. Agriculture at the hands of hardworking farmers is a vital piece of the U.S. economy. Now, more than ever, ethanol production strengthens Iowa’s ability to continue as an agricultural leader by giving farmers another market for their commodities.”

Iowa leads the U.S. in ethanol production. Our state has 43 ethanol refineries. According to the

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, they are capable of generating 4.4 billion gallons of ethanol per year.

The ability of Iowa ethanol producers to sell in Japan should strengthen an already robust industry. It currently contributes about $4.6 billion to our state’s economy each year. The ability to market Iowa-produced ethanol in Japan should help increase that impressive figure.

The Times-Republican welcomes this exciting economic news. International sales are important to the prosperity of our state. The addition of a major marketplace for our ethanol producers is an exceptionally positive development.