A Chinese mission is in Brazil for a series of visits and meetings in BrasÀlia, São Paulo, Piracicaba (interior of São Paulo state), and Rio de Janeiro.
The purpose of the mission, which is led by the Chinese engineer, Sun Xiaokang, is to become acquainted with the production process, industrial operations, and the national distribution structure for ethanol. The Chinese also want to learn how the regulations and norms for the sector were formulated.
The visit is the result of a memorandum signed in November, 2004, between the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade, and the National Development and Agrarian Reform Commission of the Chinese People’s Republic, ratifying the partnership between the two countries.
Brazil is the world’s biggest producer of sugar cane. Between 1989 and 2004, productivity grew 20%. In the next few years, ethanol consumption on the Brazilian domestic market should increase even more in consequence of the growing number of cars with “flex fuel” motors (which run on either ethanol or gasoline).
In 2003 the fleet of Brazilian cars with this type of engine totaled 48 thousand. In 2004 the total soared to 300 thousand vehicles.
Another factor contributing to the strengthening of the Brazilian ethanol production market is that alcohol made from sugar cane is cheaper than alcohol made from beets or corn, as is the case in Europe and the United States, respectively.
The current annual storage and transportation capacity of Brazilian terminals amounts to 3.6 billion liters.