Brazilian ethanol makers keen on meeting new Chinese demand

Brazilian producers are eager to sell ethanol to China in 2020, when the authorities there begin requiring petrol to be 10 percent ethanol, with a view to making it less polluting, Reuters reports.

The news agency quotes a written statement issued by São Paulo Agriculture Secretary Gustavo Junqueira as saying members of a Brazilian trade mission, which included representatives of ethanol producers, discussed tapping the Chinese market for ethanol when they visited China last month.

The report says their itinerary included meetings with Chinese authorities and a visit to the head office of Chinese commodities trader COFCO Group, which owns four ethanol refineries in Brazil.

It quotes Felipe Vicchiato, the finance chief of Brazilian ethanol producer São Martinho SA, as saying Chinese officials seemed to be serious about requiring petrol there to be 10 percent ethanol from next year.

Mr Junqueira thinks ethanol producers in the state of São Paulo can steeply increase their sales in China, Reuters says.