Ethanol market remains tumultuous
May 7, 2010

An ethanol plant in Cambridge, Nebraska, that was built in 2007 was shut down in 2009 because of shrinking profit margins, but is now back in operation under new ownership. It's an example of the rather dramatic rise, fall, and slow recovery of the ethanol industry in Iowa and Nebraska. A similar construction, closure, and subsequent re-opening under new ownership happened at Steamboat Rock, Iowa in December. The wild fluctuations in oil prices and overall energy demand have had a significant impact on demand for ethanol and the costs of its production, which in turn places new pressures on the economies of Midwestern states. The ethanol boom was widely and enthusiastically welcomed, but the bust turned out to be pretty painful, too.

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last revised May 2010