Market protection for sugar, ethanol and biobased chemicals & materials

(work in progress)

For a full version of this blog post click here (word version, includes comments by Roald)

Key points

  • Pending reform of the European sugar market will decrease sugar prices for food use, but strongly increase prices for industrial uses of sugar. This is good news sugar producers that use residue streams including cellulosic material, but not good news for industrial sugar users;
  • Trade barriers between global and EU markets are (and will remain after reform) prohibitively high for sugar, very high ethanol, but very low for biobased chemicals and materials. This is highly likely to shape competition and localization decisions of bio-refinery plants, especially as feedstock costs are lower outside of Europe as well



4 thoughts on “Market protection for sugar, ethanol and biobased chemicals & materials

  1. Jesse Fahnestock

    I really found this artcle (especially the long version) informative. Unfortunately it seems like mostly bad news for European bio-based Chemicals, again … tariff structures seem like one more factor (on top of energy and feedstock costs) that are likely to keep European companies from investing in production here.


  2. jorritg Post author

    One of the ways I hope to develop this piece is by differentiating (preliminary) conclusions here for different types of product markets. Mechanisms described in this piece may more/less valid, or influential, in e.g., bulk chemicals such as ethylene versus high value and/or technologically challenging to produce chemicals. Hope to discuss this with the market studies colleagues and technical WP experts.


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