Japan to likely accept US corn ethanol

Japan is expected in January to finalize approvals that will allow the use of U.S. corn-based ethanol in that country’s fuel supply.

USDA’s Foreign Ag Service has been working with the Japanese to assess the greenhouse gas emission value of US corn ethanol, and to find a method to meet Japan’s 50 percent greenhouse gas emission reduction requirement.

A public comment period will follow the final decision, which would allow the implementation of the regulation as early as April 2018. The next meeting will take place in late January.

Japan is expected to use about 132 million gallons of ethanol in 2017, with most of it imported from Brazil. But the Brazilian sugar cane crop has recently been plagued by poor harvest conditions, making it more expensive than corn-based ethanol.

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