The Brazilian Ag Minister is asking the country’s Foreign Trade Council to impose tariffs on U.S. ethanol imports after a recent surge in shipments coming in from America. A move like that could potentially stir up trouble with the Trump administration, which is already looking at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Brazil is the biggest market for U.S. corn ethanol, and American exports have swelled in recent months because of a domestic shortfall in production. Brazilian cane farmers have harvested more of their crop for sugar production because of recent higher sugar prices. Less of the product is going into the Brazilian ethanol industry. Ethanol imports grew five times larger in the first quarter of the year, totaling a record 720 million liters that were worth $363 million.
Most of the increased production landed in Brazil’s northeast ports, and ethanol producers from that part of Brazil are leading the call for a 20 percent tariff. The Council is set to meet this week, but does not have a deadline for making a decision.
Source: NAFB News Service