NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - The U.S.-China trade war is hurting the U.S. ethanol industry “badly,” Mike Dwyer, chief economist of the U.S. Grains Council, said on Wednesday at an event at New York Sugar week:
* “Without the tariff protection we would probably supply 90-plus percent of all (ethanol) import needs they (China) had,” Dwyer said while on a panel with Renewable Fuels Association chief economist Scott Richman.
* The trade conflict between the two countries escalated just about a year after China said it would target the roll-out of gasoline known as “E10,” containing 10 percent ethanol, by 2020. This was expected to bolster the country’s demand for U.S. ethanol.
* “The reality is that the tariff war has hurt us badly. It was horrible timing.”
* “If this trade war ended tomorrow you would see margins expand by 10 cents a gallon,” Dwyer said.
* While domestic measures like the promised expansion of higher ethanol gasoline blends such as E15 help, trade issues need to be resolved for the industry to thrive.
* “Exports are the future of our industry - even more so than E15,” Dwyer said.
Reporting by Ayenat Mersie Editing by Phil Berlowitz