Iowa ethanol plants produced a record 4.35 billion gallons in 2018, up from 4.2 billion the year before. The plants fell short of reaching their 4.5 billion capacity. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw said much of the increase came to meet international demand. He said the plants would have performed even better had the Chinese market not been shut down. The U.S. government’s exemptions allowing small refineries to avoid blending ethanol also hurt, he said.