The biofuels industry says record high gasoline prices are fueling huge interest in the availability of more and better ethanol blends.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper says near-weekly highs in gasoline prices have a direct impact on the corn ethanol blend.

We’re seeing unprecedented wholesale market and blending interest in E15…we’re seeing E85 sales really take off in some parts of the country. And that’s because ethanol, you know, just yesterday was selling for a dollar and 30 cents a gallon, less than gasoline.

Cooper says it wouldn’t surprise him if gasoline prices averaged $5 a gallon by midsummer, based on pure gasoline futures prices. The other side of the coin, of course, is the recession.

Yeah. And that is absolutely a concern and a risk. We have seen this many times in the past. Surprisingly, $4 gas has so far not resulted in the kind of demand destruction that we have seen in the past. At some point, you’re right, you reach a breaking point where consumers really brake and stop driving so much.

According to Cooper, less driving means less ethanol blended into the fuel.

According to AAA, today’s (July 7, 2022) average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States is $4.75. In South Dakota, the average is $4.71 for gasoline and $5.39 for diesel.

States surrounding South Dakota Average gallon of gasoline Average gallon of diesel

Iowa: $4.56 $5.34

North Dakota: $4.63 $5.55

Nebraska: $4.64 $5.30

Minnesota: $4.65 $5.54

Wyoming: $4.88 $5.68

Montana: $4.91 $5.88