EPA to cut down on Brazilian imported ethanol

Since the RFS, economically interesting and sometimes confusing things have happened between US and Brazilian produced ethanol.  For a while, boats of ethanol were crossing eachother in the gulf of Mexico: US produced ethanol to brazil due to a lack of supply, and Brazilian produced ethanol to the US because it is made from sugarcane rather than corn and has a lower GHG footprint, and fetched a higher RIN price in the US.  Lately, lots of Brazilian ethanol has been imported in the US to fulfill the advanced part of the of RFS, but not so much exported to Brazil.  Regardless, looks like the EPA is trying to limit, or at least track this better than in the past.  After all, wasn’t the RFS supposed to lead to domestic energy production, and advanced fuels, not just drive imports of ethanol produced with technology developed in the 1970s?


Who is importing all this ethanol?

  • Investment bank Morgan Stanley
  • oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc
  • Swiss commodity trader Vitol SA

These together account for 56 % of all U.S. ethanol imports through April 2013, or some 18 million barrels..

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