Hoosier Ag Today by: Gary Truitt
USDA Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse is leading a U.S. ethanol mission to Mexico on May 24–25 to explore trade opportunities between the two countries.The mission participants include representatives from the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and the U.S. Grains Council who will attend meetings with government officials, legislators and the Mexican private industry.
As USDA explained, mission members will share their experiences with both ethanol production and the development of renewable fuels policies, with the goal of demonstrating how Mexico can implement its own renewable fuels program.
State-owned oil company PEMEX has plans to begin selling E6 (5.8 percent) ethanol-blended gasoline in selected cities in the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, and Veracruz. Implementation of a nationwide E6 fuel option in Mexico would create a potential market for 790 million gallons of ethanol.
“Mexico, with the right policies in place, has the potential to achieve similar benefits producing ethanol from sugarcane,” Scuse said in a statement. “We view this as a partnership that can provide benefits for both Mexico and the United States.”
“The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of ethanol and for several years now has been the low cost supplier as well, allowing us to dramatically increase our exports. With domestic use artificially capped by EPA at 14.8 billion gallons, we will continue to seek export opportunities,” said Renewable Fuels Association General Counsel Ed Hubbard, who is on the trade mission. “The world is short on octane and looking for low carbon alternative fuels to meet the climate change goals set in Paris last December. This is the right time to explore new trade opportunities. Mexico, in particular, should be looking for replacements to the highly toxic MTBE. Ethanol can help.”
“This trade mission is an excellent example of the importance of ethanol to the success of nations looking to reduce their imports of harmful fossil fuels in favor of a cleaner burning and a more economical fuel,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “It is also equally important to our goal of expanding the marketplace for U.S. ethanol, which is why we’re proud to be participating in this mission.”
“With the current reform to energy regulations in Mexico, the U.S. Grains Council believes that now’s the time to introduce ethanol into the Mexican fuel market in hopes of it one day becoming the principle oxygenate used in the country,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC director in Mexico. “We see significant potential for exports of U.S. ethanol to Mexico — and therefore, U.S. grain demand — if the right policies are in place.”
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