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In a gesture to improve biofuel trade relations with the U.S. and other countries, Brazil's Council of Ministers of the Board of Foreign Trade (MDIC) has temporarily lifted the country's tariff on imported ethanol, changing the tax rate from 20 percent to zero percent. The tariff will be lifted through the end of 2011.

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In Brazil, ethanol tends to be the fuel of choice over gasoline thanks to favorable pricing and the local sugar cane feedstock. As a result most of the cars available there are offered in flex fuel variants that aren't for sale anywhere else in the world. Such is the case with the latest edition of the Nissan Versa which is sold in Brazil as the Tiida. The Tiida FFV uses the same 1.8-liter four cylinder that's in the U.S.-market Versa with a new fuel system. The FFV engine is rated at 125 hp on

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Photo by Marxchivist. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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Brazil is going to try really hard to convince the world that Brazilian sugarcane ethanol is just great. The Latin American giant is about to start what they're calling a "diplomatic offensive" that will culminate in a World Biofuels Summit from November 17th to 21th in São Paulo.

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According to an article in The New Economic Times, Fiat is planning to launch a new ethanol-powered engine for the Brazilian market. Ethanol is widely used for fuel in Brazil and half of the country's sugar cane crops are currently used for its production. Fiat intends the motor to be run on fuel that the ethanol producers create themselves, saving on taxes. What is most interesting about this story, though, is that it seems the new engine will be based on a current diesel block. In fact, a smal

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A new group called the Bioenergy Alliance (BEA) will launch in Miami tomorrow with the goal of expanding Brazilian ethanol exports to the U.S, Mexico and Guatemala. Currently, all ethanol that is imported to the U.S. - hundreds of millions of gallons a year - is subject to a 54-cent-a-gallon tariff. While the announcement by FMC Agricultural Products (pasted after the jump) doesn't specifically mention the tariff, when you have representatives of Petrobras and the founders of the Inter-American

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Two teams from Brazil and the USA have been working together to launch several ethanol production projects in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Up to eight projects have been started under this new agreement. Funding will be provided with credits from the Inter-American Development Bank. Both the U.S. and Brazil are also thinking of expanding the partnership to more countries.

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Good news for Brazilians: the prices for ethanol has dropped 38 percent because of an increase in sugarcane production. Prices will continue its decrease, according to Júlio Maria Borges, an analyst at JOB Consultaría, even when the harvest finishes.

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