Cass Consulting predicted the future demand for biofuels in emerging Asian economies for one of the world's biggest sugar companies


Sugar-merchant Czarnikow has for many years been involved in the biofuels business in the Americas, and it is aware that fast-developing Asian countries are a potentially massive market for biofuel, which is often derived from sugarcane. It asked Cass Consulting to produce a report predicting demand for biofuels in this region.


Founded in 1861, London-based Czarnikow deals in around 10% of the sugar traded globally every year, as well as trading in sugar and ethanol and advising on the sugar industry. It is currently heavily involved in the biofuel market in the USA and Brazil, but wanted a clearer picture of where future demand for this product will come from.

In particular, Czarnikow was interested in the fast-emerging economies of the Asia Pacific region, where population and wealth are rising, leading to increased demand for energy. It is expected that biofuels will play a part in the energy mix in those countries, and Czarnikow asked Cass Consulting to help quantify this demand. It hopes to predict what role ethanol might be expected to play in those countries' future fuel mix, with a view to understanding future demand for sugar-cane in Asia.


Cass's academic took existing economic data about population growth and changes in income from sources such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the UN, and built a methodology that allowed him to predict the growth of transportation fuels, especially gasoline and diesel, in 10 Asian countries by 2030.

He then took information about the 10 nations' renewables mandate targets and developed projections for discretionary use of biofuels, and information about current consumption patterns and past deviations from mandated levels.

Adding together the population and energy data, he then forecasted how much biofuel those countries will be using by 2030, and by implication the future demand for ethanol.


The Cass Consulting research team found that demand for biofuels is expected to triple by 2030 in the emerging economies of the Asia Pacific region. Czarnikow incorporated the results of the research in a white paper which it sent to its partners, showing them that the Asian biofuels market offers a massive potential demand for sugarcane.

Cass consultant

Michael Tamvakis, Professor of Commodity Economics and Finance

After training as an economist at the Athens University of Economics and Business in Greece, Professor Tamvakis joined the International Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance at what was then City University Business School, first as a student on its MSc programme, and then as a member of its academic staff, when he received his PhD. He was Associate Dean for undergraduate programmes at Cass between 2003 and 2009.

He lectures in international commodity trade, commodity risk management and shipping economics, and his research interests are in the areas of commodity economics, energy derivatives and shipping economics.

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