EU Offers Ethanol Import Deal to Brazil

The EU could grant greater market access by lowering the tariffs it levies on imports of ethanol from Brazil.

The European Union has proposed giving Brazilian exports of ethanol easier access to the European market as part of a trade deal, the EU's trade commissioner wrote on his blog on July 25. Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson added that any deal would depend on Brazil in return offering greater market access to unspecified European exporters.

Brazil has been pushing to gain better market access for exports of ethanol to the U.S. and Europe as part of global trade talks that are taking place this week.

"Ethanol should be part of a deal this week," Carlos Conzendey, head of the economic department at the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, said on July 23.

Brazil is one of the world's leading ethanol producers, with the bulk of its production going to its domestic market as fuel or additive for gasoline. The EU could grant greater market access by lowering the tariffs it levies on imports of ethanol from Brazil.

The U.S. is the world leader in ethanol output, accounting for 48% of worldwide production last year, ahead of Brazil at 31%, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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