Long-Term Profitability of Sugar-to-Ethanol Questioned

Published online: Jul 12, 2006 AP Newswire
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WASHINGTON (AP) - A Department of Agriculture report says that converting sugar to ethanol in this country would be profitable with the current high demand for ethanol, but not if prices drop as expected. The study says the price of ethanol could drop to two-dollars-and-40-cents per gallon by the summer of 2007, making it unprofitable to produce ethanol from raw and refined sugar. The report says that making ethanol from molasses, a byproduct of sugarcane and beet processing, is economically viable. The report was done through a cooperative agreement between the U-S-D-A and Louisiana State University. Sugar in the U-S is made from two sources: beets in some northern and western states, and cane in a few southern states and Hawaii.