Brazil urges talks on ethanol to refuel Jamaican producers

(Jamaica Gleaner) Brazilian Ambassador Antonio Francisco da Costa e Silva Neto urged ethanol manufacturers on Tuesday to negotiate with Brazilian companies in an attempt to re-energise the biofuel trade with the United States.

“This is something that needs dialogue. If Jamaica does not talk with the main actors in Brazil the point would not be made and an opportunity will again be lost on a partnership,” said da Costa e Silva Neto at a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) trade policy forum at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.

Earl Jarrett, PSOJ chairman of the trade policy committee, noted that the expiration earlier this year of the US$0.54 tariff per gallon of ethanol entering the US from non-CBI countries has resulted in a significant decline in the price of the biofuel imported from Brazil into the United States.

The expired tariff puts countries – which benefit from duty free concessions under the Caribbean Basin Initiative – at a disadvantage, including Jamaica.

Essentially, it is now cheaper for Brazilian companies to go directly into the US rather than redirect wet ethanol to Jamaica for processing into fuel grade ethanol for shipment to the US.

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