Brazil extends tariff-free ethanol imports

14 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

BRASILIA: Brazil’s government will extend a tariff-free ethanol import programme with the United States for 90 days starting Sept 14, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.

During that time, the United States and Brazil will discuss ways in which they can open up their respective ethanol, soy and corn markets, the statement said, report agencies.

Brazil allowed a non-tariff quota for imports of 750 million litres per year of ethanol to expire at the end of August, resulting in US producers having to pay a 20 per cent tariff.

The tax-free import quota was used entirely by US corn ethanol producers, who were happy to sell to Brazil to make up for low sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

US President Donald Trump, who faced pressure from the US farm lobby, had urged renewal of the non-tariff quota. Some ethanol-producing states are key to Mr Trump’s Nov 3 re-election bid.

But Brazil’s farm sector has lobbied President Jair Bolsonaro’s government to drop the ethanol import quota or get something in return.