Increased production at UK alternative energy company Ensus’ and Vivergo’s plants is expected to spearhead an upturn in EU ethanol output, leading to record highs.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) projected that EU’s ethanol production this year would reach 6.29bn litres, a 209M litre increase from last year, Agrimoney.com wrote on 29 June.

The increase would reverse the fall in production experienced in 2016, the first in nine years, which the USDA said was due to “financial difficulties” in the sector, best exemplified by the bankruptcy in 2015 of Spanish renewable energy and biofuels producer Abengoa.

Spanish ethanol production was expected to drop by 48M litres to 280M litres, marking a 43% decrease since the high of 2015, said Agrimoney.com.

However, production in the Netherlands is expected to rise by 19.1% to 530M litres.

UK production would also experience an upturn, climbing 23% to a record 815M litres, Agrimoney.com wrote.

The UK production upsurge had lifted the country back to being a net importer of wheat, but it was corn and sugar beet that would ultimately witness a rising demand as a result of the rising ethanol output.

The USDA expects corn consumption to rise by nearly 250,000 tonnes in 2017 to a record 5.68M tonnes, while sugar beet would rebound by 960,000 tonnes to 9.79M tonnes.

Wheat volumes, in total, were expected to ease by 140,000 tonnes to 3.89M tonnes.