A new report by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) examines two segment of the US industrial biotech market, liquid biofuels and bio-based chemicals, based on a survey of 559 establishments with production or R&D activities related to liquid fuel or chemicals. Respondents’ US sales of US-produced liquid biofuels increased 140% from 2004 to 2007 to $11.3 billion, with government regulations cited as the main driver. Liquid biofuel R&D by respondents rose 424% to $152.5 million during the period and were primarily for developing cellulosic ethanol. Respondents expect 40 new biodiesel plants to come online by 2009. However, rising feedstock costs have inhibited further expansion. Respondents’ US sales of US-produced bio-based chemicals rose 11% to $29.9 billion from 2004 to 2007. Drug companies were responsible for 79% of these revenues. However, the share of respondents’ bio-based chemical sales, compared to their share of conventional chemicals sales, fell from 5% in 2004 to 4% in 2007 due to oil prices. Bio-based chemicals R&D rose 70% to $3.4 billion for respondents during the period. R&D spending by other respondents for both liquid biofuel and bio-based chemicals (those respondents that did not separate R&D by product) increased 27.5% to $204.1 million. Source: USITC

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