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Higher US ethanol exports to Brazil expected into 2013

29 Feb 2012, 4.52 pm GMT

Houston, 29 February (Argus) — US ethanol exports into Brazil could continue into 2013 as that country works to build its domestic infrastructure to meet rising demand, according to Neil Koehler, chief executive of Pacific Ethanol.

The higher biofuel flows from the US to Brazil should continue for “a year or two” to meet transportation fuel demand that is growing faster than Brazilian supply, he said.

Brazil “will be a significant part of the export picture this year and probably into next, at which point they'll probably have rebuilt their capacity,” Koehler said.

The ethanol sector in Brazil has been hard hit by poor weather conditions impacting the sugarcane harvest coupled with falling yields from older cane fields.

Sugarcane forecasts out of the main regions for the 2012-13 crop range from 460-580mn t. The 2011-12 crop of 488.46mn t was 10pc lower than the previous season's harvest.

But Brazil isn't the only export destination for US ethanol producers. Canada is “a huge opportunity” and Europe and Asia have demanded growing volumes, Koehler said.

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