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Petrobras blames US, EU barriers for ethanol export fall

Brazilian state-owned oil and gas giant Petrobras Wednesday blamed the protectionist tariffs charged by the US and EU markets for the fall in the company’s ethanol exports.

Petrobras Executive Manager of Energy Development Mozart Schmitt Queiroz said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva „has made a big effort” to lower the trade barriers, but that has not brought about any concrete results. Some ethanol shipments to the United States and the European Union were cancelled this year due to their protectionist measures, Queiroz said, adding such measures contradicted the principle of trade liberalization favored by both at international forums. He said the United States, „adopting a policy aimed at creating jobs” at home, would rather produce ethanol from corn at a greater cost than import Brazil’s sugarcane-made ethanol. Petrobras plans to invest $1.5 billion in bio-fuel projects by 2012 to boost its competitiveness in the emerging industry. (