Around two thirds of the oil used in the United States is imported. Now, something is done to offset this energy trade imbalance ever so slightly: Ethanol, the stuff that is supposed to save the U.S. from foreign oil dependency is shipped out of the country.
Who buys it? Brazil, the land where cars drink alcohol to drive. Demand in Brazil is growing at a 5-10 percent annual pace. This year, bad weather has resulted in a poor harvest of sugar cane, the main raw material for Brazilian fuel.
Enter the American farmer and enterprising Japanese trading houses
Japanese trading company Itochu will be buying U.S. bioethanol and export it to Brazil. According to The Nikkei [sub], Itochu operates a bioethanol production and sales business in the northeastern Brazilian state of Tocantins and the southeastern state of Minas Gerais jointly with U.S. agribusiness giant Bunge Ltd. Soon, Brazilian cars will run on American corn.