China boosts ethanol imports, but how long will it last?

In China, COFCO has begun importing ethanol from its recently-acquired Brazilian sugar mills through a JV with Noble, the first such trade since 2012, which is part of a new move towards ethanol imports. The country imported 56,000 metric tons during the first half of 2015, more than double all of the ethanol imported during 2014. In June, the country imported 5,000 metric tons of ethanol from the US with another 50,000 tons expected to arrive before the end of the month. It’s not yet clear if this is a trend, where the government will loosen its grip on fuel ethanol imports, or if it’s a short-term buying spree. Exporters in the US and Brazil are hoping it’s the former to help ease their supply gluts and support local prices. Chinese ethanol prices remain high due to the country stocking corn and wheat, which are roughly three times the price of feedstocks in the US.

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