USA – ADM has unveiled that it is currently managing ethanol production throughout its US corn processing network to focus on cash flows and to divert corn grind to other products that are in higher demand, such as alcohol for hand sanitizer.

The food processing company and agricultural commodity trader said that the move is part of its response to the challenging operating environment.

As part of this process, ADM has announced suspension of ethanol production at the company’s corn dry mill facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Columbus, Nebraska.

According to a statement issued by the company, the temporarily suspension is expected to affect approximately 90 employees in each facility. ADM intends to furlough the employees in the coming weeks.

However, during the furlough, employees will continue to receive medical benefits and will be eligible to apply for state and federal unemployment benefits, the company said.

ADM added that the employees will also have the option to apply for other open positions in the company. The furlough is anticipated to last for four months, but the company noted that the timeframe is dependent on market conditions and could change.

ADM has also reduced the ethanol grind at its corn wet mill plants and rebalanced grind to produce more industrial alcohol for the sanitizer market and industrial starches for the containerboard market to better align production with current demand.

“These are very difficult decisions in a very challenging time, and unfortunately, the current market conditions and the low consumer demand for gasoline at this time have greatly impacted the entire ethanol industry,” said Chris Cuddy, president, Carbohydrate Solutions.

“Our primary focus is the respect and care of our employees during this time, and we are doing everything we can to support them until market conditions improve and we can look at ways to restart production.

As part of ADM’s ongoing efforts to support the fight against COVID-19, the company has committed a total of approximately US$1 million to various organizations including the WHO and various regional and local charities focusing on COVID-19 in the areas where ADM operates.