Sao Paulo, 30 August (Argus) — The Brazilian government may still raise the country's ethanol blend in gasoline from the current 20pc back up to 25pc later this year, according to energy ministry secretary of oil, gas and biofuels Marco Antonio Martins.
The blend was lowered from 25pc to 20pc in October of 2011 after drought and falling cane yields limited the feedstock for ethanol and sugar production across Brazil. The blend can be raised to a maximum of 25pc under current law, and various officials in the Brazilian government have toyed with the idea of boosting the blend rate. Others have made conflicting statements about restoring blending to 25pc.
The main center-south cane crop has improved this season to roughly 509mn t, up from 494mn t last season when Brazil's cane output dropped for the first time in nearly a decade.
Plinio Nastari, president of Brazil's leading sugarcane consultancy Datagro, doubts the government will raise the blend to 25pc before April 2013, given that more than half of the current center-south crop has already been harvested. Crushing will not begin again until March at the earliest, as mills shut down for the rainy season.
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