Brazil ethanol exports to U.S. at risk if EPA eases blend rule
The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association breathed a sigh of relief at McCarthy's statement.
"Brazilian sugarcane ethanol producers are pleased to see Administrator McCarthy confirm there have been no final decisions on the renewable fuel standards for 2014," the association's North America Representative, Leticia Phillips, said in a statement.
"We trust that EPA's final targets for advanced biofuels will both recognize and help foster the tremendous growth occurring in this industry," she said.
Thanks in large part to the U.S. ethanol blending mandates, and a California law that incentivizes the use of the fuel, Brazilian sugar cane ethanol exports have been growing in recent years.
Brazil's ethanol exports for 2013 through September totaled 605 million gallons, up 27 percent from 476 million gallons exported over the same period last year, Brazilian Trade Ministry data show.
But exports have begun to slow in recent months, with September exports totaling 78 million gallons, down significantly from the 128 million exported in August and the 127 million shipped in September last year, the data show.
The trading arm of European oil major Royal Dutch Shell Shell, investment bank Morgan Stanley Inc. and Swiss oil trader Vitol S.A. are the top three importers of ethanol into the U.S. so far this year, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show.