The ethanol industry now has breathing room to continue talks with Brazil

The Renewable Fuels Association is praising the decision by Brazil to extend the suspension of a 20 percent tariff on ethanol that was set to resume on the first of the year.

Geoff Cooper says the delay buys the ethanol industry some time to find a permanent solution.

“And so, we were pleasantly surprised when the Brazilian government announced that it’s going to be extending the suspension of that tariff through the end of January 2023. So that gives us another month, gives us some breathing room to keep talking, and it allows USDA and our friends at USTR to continue working with the Brazilian government to try and find a permanent resolution.”

Cooper says Brazil’s new incoming government could help ease talks, but he warns the country’s old and inconsistent tariff has already taken a big toll on U.S. ethanol exports.

“I think it was 2018 when we exported more than 500 million gallons of ethanol to Brazil. And I think, this year, we’ll probably do something around 60 to 80 million gallons by the time this year is all said and done.”

The RFA says they have been trying to get a handle on these tariffs for years, going all the way back to the Trump Administration.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper spoke with RFD-TV’s own Suzanne Alexander to discuss the background on the situation, how big of a market Brazil is for U.S. ethanol, and what the extension means for producers.