There’s a hot new craze called the “Ethanol Shuffle” that’s sweeping seaports from Sao Paulo to Los Angeles. No, it’s not a new dance, this shuffle is all about the “confounded realignment of the global ethanol trade.”
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Vice President of Research and Analysis Geoff Cooper wrote about the “Ethanol Shuffle” this week on the RFA E-xchange Blog. Basically, it’s about the shuffling of sugarcane ethanol from Brazil to California to meet that state’s Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS) – at the same time, Brazil is importing lower priced corn ethanol from the United States to make up for not only the ethanol it is exporting to California, but the shortfall that country has experienced in ethanol production recently.
So, that’s how the “Ethanol Shuffle” works. California imports sugarcane ethanol from Brazil rather than corn ethanol from Nebraska or Kansas; and in turn, corn ethanol from the Midwest travels to Houston or Galveston via rail, then is shipped to Brazil via tanker to “backfill” the volumes they sent to the U.S. Picture the irony of a tanker full of U.S. corn ethanol bound for Brazil passing a tanker full of cane ethanol bound for Los Angeles or Miami along a Caribbean shipping route.
Cooper explains the sweet irony of it all in this edition of “The Ethanol Report.” Geoff Cooper on the Ethanol Shuffle