California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard program, which aims to decrease the carbon intensity of transportation fuels 10 percent by 2020, is expected to increase Brazilian sugarcane ethanol imports under current rules.
As the program is implemented and the allowable carbon content of fuel decreases with each year, fuel blenders are expected to use Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, which has been scored to be less carbon intensive than U.S. grain ethanol and is a commercially available alternative.
California is the largest user of ethanol in the U.S., using 1.3 billion gallons annually. The current trade pattern would shift if California were to start importing and blending more Brazilian ethanol. Brazil imported 45 million gallons of ethanol in April, 80 percent of which was U.S. grain ethanol.
For more, see: California's Clean Fuel Push Opens Door To Brazilian Ethanol