The European Market for Industrial and Potable Alcohol

As prospects diminish for first generation fuel ethanol in the EU, a growing number of ethanol producers are looking to diversify into industrial and potable alcohol. The European Commission’s desire to cap the use of food crops for fuel ethanol makes these higher value alternative markets increasingly attractive.

However, although potable and industrial alcohol markets account for one third of EU alcohol demand, they remain poorly documented. The data that does exist is fragmented, often inconsistent and of questionable accuracy, creating a barrier to market entry.

LMC's new report The European Market for Industrial and Potable Alcohol fills this gap by providing reliable and comprehensive data on the European industrial and potable markets. With coverage of all 28 Member States, the 2015 report presents LMC’s forecasts of the sectors to 2025.

Key features

  • End Users - Profiles of the major buyers in each market including, where possible, estimates of alcohol purchased, quality requirements, and other purchasing needs.
  • Demand - Demand estimates for industrial and potable alcohol by country and region. For industrial alcohol we distinguish between bio-based and synthetic industrial alcohol.
  • Demand by Application - A breakdown of non-fuel demand by major application: pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, inks, paints, detergents, chemical intermediates, spirit beverages, food applications and vinegar production.
  • Bio Versus Synthetic - We examine the extent, nature and drivers of substitution between bio-based and synthetic industrial alcohol, for each major application.
  • Production - We estimate industrial and potable alcohol production by market and for each of the major companies.
  • Switching From Fuel to Industrial/Beverage Grade Alcohol - How easy is it? What are the barriers and the costs?
  • Imports – We analyse the current level of non-fuel imports into the EU and describe how the tariff regime differs from that of fuel ethanol. We evaluate the threat from overseas suppliers such as Pakistan.
  • Exports - Will opportunities for non-fuel exports out of the EU emerge?
  • Prospects for Consumption - Demand forecasts for industrial and potable uses to 2025 by country.
  • Prices - We present annual price forecasts to 2025, taking account in the near term of the impact of low crude oil prices. In doing so, we explain the changing dynamics of industrial and potable alcohol prices and identify the key drivers which determine the competitiveness of domestic versus imported supply.


Executive Summary    
Key Findings and Strategic Recommendations

Main Report     
Comprehensive Analysis, Tables and Diagrams

Key Findings in a Presentation Format For Use in Internal Meetings

Excel Data    
The Key Data in the Report

LMC Consultation    
One Full Day of Consulting by Senior LMC Staff to Interpret or Discuss the Report’s Findings

For more information or to subscribe to the study, contact our biofuels experts or download the brochure




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