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California officials are appealing the decision. But no matter the outcome of that case, federal policy still will encourage Brazil to ship ethanol to the United States. renewable fuel standard will require refiners to use 2 billion gallons of what are known as advanced biofuels, a category that excludes corn ethanol. Advanced biofuels are required to have at least 50 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline, and corn ethanol doesn't qualify.

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Rules force Brazil

25 percent to 20 percent amid the domestic supply shortage at the same time the country was continuing to export some of its biofuel to California and Florida.

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Ethanol made from corn has a carbon footprint closer to gasoline because of energy needed to grow the grain.

WASHINGTON The ethanol subsidy might be history, but government policies still can produce crazy economics in the biofuel business. Exhibit A: Brazil and the United States, the world's two largest producers of the gasoline additive, are expected to swap some of their supplies this year.

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"It just defies common sense," said Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis for the Renewable Fuels Association.

"We would rather that our ethanol be burned here in this country. Until then, much of the distillery's output had been shipped to California, but Brazilians were willing to pay a higher price, Seurer said. "We'll continue to ship there if it's profitable."

of the tariff and the advanced biofuel mandate.

Last year, Midwest ethanol producers shipped an estimated Prada Rain Boots Black

The advanced biofuel mandate is scheduled to continue growing after 2012, reaching 21 billion gallons by 2022.

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Biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oil, animal fats and restaurant grease, will fill most of that advanced biofuel requirement. However, Brazil's sugarcane ethanol counts as an advanced biofuel and could provide several hundred million gallons toward the mandate, according to the EPA.

Becker said he doubts Brazil will be able to sell much ethanol to the United States, even with the advanced biofuel mandate in 2012. "They don't have a bunch of additional export capacity," he said.

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A boom in ethanol exports to Brazil and elsewhere is a key reason that the American biofuel industry has largely shrugged off the end of the 45 cent per gallon ethanol subsidy as well as a 54 cent tariff on imported ethanol. Both the subsidy and the tariff expired Dec. 31.

The export sales "enabled just about any producer to make money in ethanol last year," said Todd Becker, president and CEO of Green Plains Renewable Energy, which operates nine ethanol plants, including three in Iowa. industry got good news Dec. 29, just two days before the subsidy and tariff expired, when a federal judge blocked California from continuing to enforce regulations that encourage refiners to use ethanol produced in Brazil or in California over the Midwestern version to meet targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Midwest ethanol is considered to have a larger carbon footprint under the California rules, but the judge said the discrimination unconstitutionally interfered with interstate commerce.

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"The elimination of the tariff doesn't mean that exports will happen very shortly. In my opinion, it's a medium and long term process," he said.

But Brazil has welcomed both the end Prada Shoes Sneakers Mens

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It's unclear how much ethanol the United States will import from Brazil this year. industry think the amount could be less. But the fact that the countries would be swapping ethanol at all strikes many as bizarre.

The Brazilian industry's immediate problem is filling its domestic market's own demand. Brazil, which also mandates the use of ethanol, reduced the requirement from Lacoste High Top Sneakers

The final numbers on 2011 exports aren't in yet. But they're expected to total about a billion gallons last year, including the shipments to Brazil, Cooper said. Exports totaled about 400 million gallons in 2010. product, currently costs about 70 to 80 cents a gallon more, Cooper said. producers, who are facing a saturated domestic market. Virtually all gasoline now sold in Ralph Lauren Shoes Grey the country contains at least 10 percent ethanol, the maximum that has traditionally been allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency is moving toward raising the limit to 15 percent, but stations are expected to be reluctant to offer the higher blend, because only cars and trucks made since 2001 will be allowed to use it. production of corn ethanol is thought to have reached a record 14.5 billion gallons in 2010.

250 million gallons of their product to Brazil, which ran short of the biofuel for its domestic market. Production in Brazil has fallen amid high sugar prices and a succession of poor harvests. regulations that rate the Brazilian biofuel that's distilled from sugarcane as better for the environment than the American version made from corn.

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