Japan opens comment period on proposal to allow US corn ethanol

By Erin Voegele | January 09, 2018

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has opened a public comment period on proposed changes to its ethanol policy that would allow for the import of U.S. corn ethanol for use in the production of bio-ETBE. A document filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network specifies that the comments can be submitted in Japanese on government’s website. The public comment period is open through Jan. 18.

The proposed changes to Japan’s ethanol policy set a default greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions value for U.S. corn ethanol at 43.15 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule (gCO2eq/MJ). The proposed changes also increase the default GHG emission value of Brazilian sugarcane-based ethanol from 32.7 gCO2eq/MJ to 33.61 gCO2eq/MJ. In addition, the changes would revise the default GHG emission value for gasoline from 81.7 gCO2eq/MJ to 84.11 gCO2eq/MJ.

According to the document filed with the USDA FAS GAIN, the new policy would also raise the reduction target for gasoline GHG emissions to 55 percent, up from the current 50 percent.

Under the proposed policy, U.S. corn-based ethanol will be allowed for use in bio-ETBE production when combined with Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, starting in April. Based on the revised GHG emission values for gasoline, Brazilian ethanol and U.S. ethanol, the maximum share of U.S. ethanol by volume allowed in the Japanese market would be 53.73 percent.

Additional information is available on the USDA FAS GAIN website.