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S&P, The Insiderís Trading Edge
Notes From Underground ^ | January 16, 2012 | Yra Harris

Posted on 01/16/2012 10:56:25 PM PST by Razzz42

An interesting story that was reported last week in the Financial Times concerned Brazil’s SUGAR GROUP pushing for greater funding to increase sugar production and ramp up ETHANOL PRODUCTION. The U.S. tariffs on Brazilian ethanol imports expired on December 31, same day as the credit for corn-based ethanol production. Experts have argued for years that corn-based ethanol is much less efficient to produce than SUGAR-BASED, but the agricultural/ethanol lobby has been very forceful in providing non-market incentives to produce corn ethanol.

The impact of using corn has led to increase in higher global food prices even though the RENEWABLE FUELS ASSOCIATION has tried to argue that the effect on grain prices has been minimal. The fact is that CORN PRICES have soared as ETHANOL has consumed more of the corn crop than livestock producers. As corn prices have risen, farmers have intelligently substituted corn production from other grain acreage, forcing the cost of all grains higher.

George Bush created this policy of screwing with the FOOD CHAIN and OBAMA has maintained it for three years. However, now the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION is to be APPLAUDED for helping bring an end to this ridiculousness. Playing with FOOD PRODUCTION is always a dangerous road for governments to travel. Let a more efficient producer utilize a much less significant food crop to produce energy.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government

1 posted on 01/16/2012 10:56:29 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: Razzz42

So many inaccuracies, so little time.

Brazilian ethanol isn’t “sugar based” - it is cane based. All fermentation of ethanol starts from sugar(s). Corn has sugars, as do other grains. When barley is malted to make whiskey, they’re doing it to gain access to the sugars.

Next, the import tariff wasn’t renewed, that is true. But there never was a subsidy for corn growers to produce ethanol. The subsidy was a “blenders’ credit,” which when to the oil companies to blend ethanol into the gasoline.

Lastly, as long as the spread between gasoline rack prices and corn’s near-term contracts remains profitable for the ethanol producers and the oil companies, corn will continue to be used to make ethanol. Brazil can’t export enough ethanol to the US to eliminate the corn market. The corn based ethanol market is now viable without the blenders’ credit.

2 posted on 01/16/2012 11:00:51 PM PST by NVDave
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To: NVDave
I think you are missing the point, the tariff prevented competition and caused higher grain prices, Brazil adjusted it acreage output according to lobby manipulated US tariff policy. Brazil's cane and beet based ethanol contains less water content than corn based which corn based has a tendency to ruin engines. But from the article below it looks like Brazil was not anticipating dropping the tariff to point of having to import ethanol from the US and now has to gear up production which they are certainly capable of doing. (Like Venezuela, countries have the raw materials but lack expertise in refining) Brazil gives big sweetener for sugar ethanol industry
3 posted on 01/16/2012 11:23:49 PM PST by Razzz42
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To: NVDave; Razzz42

IMHO, I’d like you to to continue the discussion. I know doodly squat about this whole shebang and I think I could learn more from you.

My only previous statement: You don’t make fuel from food.

Am I wrong ?

4 posted on 01/17/2012 12:09:13 AM PST by onona (FR is continuing education)
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To: onona

I think we are just following the markets. In your case might want to try the global warming committee or Al Gore or whoever supports agendas like food for fuel since this is a created market. Like windmill farms, once the subsidies dry up so does construction because it is not really a profitable venture against existing technologies. It has more to do with political correctness and lobby groups than anything.

Putting solar panels on everyone’s roof makes more sense.

5 posted on 01/17/2012 1:03:19 AM PST by Razzz42
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To: NVDave
Even more importantly and not understood is the economic impact of keeping the USD at home, and a second benfit against the world that votes against the United States in lock step at the United Nations has to now decide if they hate us ("US) for feeding them or hate us because we decry OPECS oil pricing that caused the major damage to the West.

By keeping food off the world markets, the Arab Spring/Nightmare exploded because the corrupt Oil Shekdom's did not do anything to provide a living wage to their populations.


6 posted on 01/17/2012 5:12:55 AM PST by Jumper
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To: Razzz42

“Water content” comparisons of ethanol are chasing tumbleweeds. Ethanol, regardless of how it was made, is hygroscopic. The ability and tendency of ethanol to attract humidity in the air and turn it into higher water content in your tank will happen regardless of whether it came from corn or cane.

Ag economists foresaw that Brazil wouldn’t be exporting all that much ethanol about five years ago. As their economy developed, they were going to start burning their ethanol internally.

The other thing that will keep ethanol viable given the spread between corn and gasoline is the low price of natural gas to run the distillation plants.

7 posted on 01/17/2012 8:49:48 AM PST by NVDave
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To: onona

The corn was food when it went into the ethanol plant, and the distiller’s grains that come out the back side of the plant are still food.

“Dried distiller’s grains” aka “DDG” in the farming lingo, are excellent cattle feed. About half of all beans and field corn in the US are used for feeding animals. The by-product DDG from ethanol production is actually better cattle feed than cracked corn, because cattle fed whole or cracked corn can develop a condition called “acidosis” due to the sugars in the corn fermenting in the cow’s gut. Ferment the sugars away and leave the complex carbs and fiber for the cow and we have a win:win situation.

8 posted on 01/17/2012 8:52:22 AM PST by NVDave
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To: NVDave

Why go through all the trouble to add a corrosive to your tank? So you can feed a cow? Mandate ethanol because the free market knows better than to produce it on its own?

Alcohol comes in purities, some products refine better than others, grains are not cost effective when converting to fuel.

Natural gas conversion for gasoline engines makes more sense.

9 posted on 01/17/2012 10:53:51 AM PST by Razzz42
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To: Razzz42

I’ve told people here on FR again and again: the cause of ethanol in gasoline is the environmental push for oxygenated fuel, not some push by farmers. The EPA mandated the use of oxygenates in fuel, starting with MTBE. That didn’t work out well for groundwater, so at that point, ethanol was proposed and then the farmers, in the midst of a glut of corn, got on the ethanol bandwagon.

Ethanol in gasoline isn’t going away until and unless the requirement for oxygenated gasoline goes away. That requirement has nothing to do with the farm lobby.

10 posted on 01/17/2012 11:03:56 AM PST by NVDave
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