Blairo Maggi, Brazil's agriculture minister, has written to the country's foreign trade council, asking for the imposition of tariffs on ethanol imports, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The news agency cited the secretary for international relations at the agriculture ministry, Odilson Ribeiro, as saying that the request has been sent on Wednesday.

Brazil's ethanol imports come mainly from the US and have surged in recent months to make up for a domestic shortage because more of the country's cane crop is being diverted to sugar production due to better prices. Reuters commented that imposing tariffs could strain trade relations with the Trump administration.

Sugarcane industry association Unica hopes that the foreign trade council will approve the tariff at an upcoming meeting. The lobby group is pushing for a 16% tariff. Ethanol producers in northeastern Brazil, meanwhile, are calling for a 20% levy.


Article by Renewables Now: Brazilian call for ethanol import tariff backed by minister - report