Sunday, May 8, 2011

US taxpayers subsidize ethanol exported to Brazil

The Financial Times reports that Brazil has been importing record amounts of ethanol - almost all from the US - because US ethanol is the "most competitive" on price. And what helps keep US ethanol prices low? Six billion in ethanol subsidies paid by US taxpayers to ethanol producers.

Brazil imports record amount of ethanol in 1st quarter; almost all from U.S.



obama brazil
President Obama visits Brazil
Brazil, the world's ethanol superpower, has had to import unprecedented volumes of the biofuel from December of 2010 through March of 2011. Due to a culmination of factors – an insufficient 2010 harvest, weak expectations for the 2011 growing season and booming domestic demand – Brazil imported an estimated 80 to 200 million liters (21.1 to 52.9 million gallons) of ethanol during the first quarter of 2011. According to some sources, this is only the second time that Brazil's has resorted to importing the biofuel, with the first being in 2009 when Brazil's harvest was devastated by heavy rains.

So, where's Brazil getting all of this ethanol from? The United States. According to Platts, almost all of Brazil's imports were U.S. corn-based ethanol, as prices were deemed to be the world's most competitive. Perhaps coincidentally, President Obama timed his recent trip to Brazil with the height of the South American nation's need for U.S.-produced ethanol.

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