Brazil announces new requirements for ethanol importers

By Erin Voegele | May 16, 2017

Brazil is taking action to protect domestic producers of ethanol. A notice in Brazil’s official gazette establishes new guidelines for ethanol importers.  

The decree, published on May 15, stipulates that regulated agents who import biofuels must comply with the same capacity and inventory requirements that currently apply to domestic biofuel producers. Brazil’s National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels has been tasked with implementing the new requirement.

Earlier this month, the executive management committee of CAMEX, Brazil’s Chamber of Foreign Trade, postponed a decision on whether to impose significant tariffs on U.S. ethanol imports. The decision is now expected to be made in June. The delay allows the proposal to be evaluated by another CAMEX subgroup, the Technical Group on Temporary Alterations to the Common Foreign Tariff of Mercosur.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. exported 24.91 million barrels of ethanol last year, with nearly 6.36 billion barrels destined for Brazil. The U.S. imported 850,000 barrels of ethanol from Brazil over the same time period.

On a monthly basis, the U.S. exported 1.4 million barrels of ethanol to Brazil in January, falling to 1.21 million barrels in February. In January, Brazil exported 394,000 barrels of ethanol to the U.S., with 377,000 barrels exported to the U.S. in February.

A copy of May 15 notice is available on the Brazil Ministry of Mines and Energy website.