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Fueling station in Sao Paulo, Brazil

With Brazil's ethanol prices soaring to new highs, the nation's government has put forth a policy to reduce the mandatory ethanol blend in gasoline to as low as 18 percent. Until now, all gasoline sold in Brazil had to be at least 25 percent ethanol. With ethanol now in short supply, the government has decided to take action.

The ethanol limit, which was outlined in an executive measure published in late April, goes into effect immediately. Although the measure is not directly related to sugar, a change in Brazil's ethanol policy could potentially impact production of the sweetener because the nation relies upon sugarcane for its ethanol.

Surging ethanol prices over the past couple of months, due mainly to a limited sugarcane harvest, led authorities to take immediate action. Brazil's energy minister, Edison Lobao, says that, although ethanol prices have started to drop, the government will still move forward with plans to reduce its mandatory ethanol blend in gas.

[Source: Ward's Auto – sub. req. | Image: Mariordo – C.C. License 2.0]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      Marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is the main problem with agri-based alternate fuels. Some years ago the Australian Sugar farmers and producers were going out of business due to a world oversupply of sugar. The Federal government stepped up and spent a sizable amount of Taxpayers money funding Ethanol plants and the Queensland government offered incentives and changed the law to allow subsidised E10 blends to be sold. So far, so good! Except, no sooner had production become operational, the entire Australian sugar crop was destroyed by a hurricane! Worse, that year Fiji, Mauritius and Brazil all suffered bad harvest's. Suddenly, the unfortunate Federal and State taxpayers were forced to buy, and import , sugar on the world market, at very high prices, and then sell sugar to the Ethanol producer at a 75% loss! This is probably an extreme example, but it illustrates the difficulty of replacing oil with an agri-sourced product.
        carney373
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Production and prices of petroleum are at least as arbitrary and unpredictable, but have the additional negative factor of being dictated by the OPEC cartel, and are used to finance extremism and terror.
          Marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @carney373
          Not really. Supply of oil is very reliable, Only war interrupts supply. Fears of OPEC are an overrated concept of the 1970's. So too, is the concept that oil funds terrorism. Saudi Arabia is a bulwark against terrorism, as is Quatar, and Oman. Even radical Islamic states like Sudan, Libya and Iran, have all abandoned support for terrorist activities. (except against Israel). The belief that terrorism is financed by oil rich states is ignorant and alienating. Such attitudes breed support for extremist groups. OPEC is headquartered in Vienna.. There are more oil producing nations than those in the middle east, Chavez in Venezuela may not like the US, and he may not be the most rational individual, but that doesn't mean he finances terrorism. UK produces oil, Australia, Canada, Vietnam, etc..more than 123 nations produce oil, only 12 are members of OPEC. OPEC represents just over 42% of world oil production, but this percentage is in decline. The whole point of OPEC is to stabilise prices. The recent economic problems created by OPEC were not related to oil production, but rather the decision to transfer OPEC cash reserves from the US dollar to the EURO. Not good for the US, but hardly an act of terror. Even more significant is the fact that in Natural Gas production, OPEC members constitute a very small percentage. It could be argued that Coal is a greater source of industrial energy and no OPEC member produces Coal. Terrorist groups need very little finance, just fanaticism and a disregard for human life. Timothy McVeigh proved that reality.
        EJ
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        In order for ethanol to reach any truly meaningful levels, cellulosic production will have to ramp up, which would solve any dependency on any specific crop and hopefully lessen the impact any any particular bad year. Until the comet impact blots out the sun. But then my solar plan won't be working out so well either.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EJ
          It would be better to use the biomass to generate electricity. Or use grasses to feed cattle, rather than relying on feedlots. Cattle evolved to eat grass, do so efficiently and produce less methane and other emissions when eating grass than when given feed-- especially if that feed contains sulfur-rich distillers grains.
          carney373
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EJ
          Cellulosic ethanol is over-hyped. The same biomass could be more easily and cheaply made into methanol instead.
          Marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EJ
          Ah, but that's where my patented "Chrystal fuelled and Channelled PPMM super fluxcapacitor ' with the new 'Comet Repellent' accessory , will really come in useful!