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The Impact of Local Ethanol Production on the Corn Basis in Ontario

Zhige Wu, Alfons Weersink, Alex Maynard, Getu Hailu, Richard Vyn


This paper investigates the factors affecting the corn basis in Ontario with particular emphasis on the effect of ethanol production given the projected detrimental effect its expansion could have on the red meat sector. We estimate a location‐specific and panel vector error correction models (VECM) for seven elevators in Ontario from 2006 to 2013. We find a long‐run equilibrium relationship exists between the basis and factors affecting local supply and demand including ethanol capacity and that the direction of causality is from these factors to changes in corn price. A one‐time increase in ethanol capacity of 100 million liters is projected to increase the basis by approximately 30 cents per bushel within two years. However, the impact is insignificant for elevators located in the livestock‐intensive regions of the province. The demand for corn as livestock feed is a determinant of the local corn price for all elevators. The decline in the number of hogs and beef cattle along with the 50% increase in corn supply have resulted in the observed decline in the local corn price despite the significant increase in demand from ethanol.

Publication: Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 65: 409-430
Date: December, 2016

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