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American Shipper

Ethanol boosting corn markets throughout Americas

Ethanol boosting corn markets throughout Americas

Buoyed by the growing demand for corn to produce ethanol ' and the even greater outlook for future demand ' the international market for corn is booming throughout the Americas and impacting.

   Rapidly growing demand for corn created by the growing ethanol market is boosting corn prices and impacting international shipments throughout the Americas, according to industry experts interviewed by the Associated Press.

   The price of corn recently topped the $4-a-bushel mark, after staying at around $2 a bushel for the last several years. Keith Collins, chief economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told the Associated Press prices are expected to reach new highs over the next five years.

   As a result, corn production in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina is growing rapidly, with exports from those countries expected to increase. Brazil and Argentina are the leading corn exporters in the Americas after the United States.

   The development has been especially beneficial for corn producers in Mexico, who had been worried about the 2008 opening of the Mexico market to highly efficient U.S. corn producers as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

   The report noted there are 111 ethanol biorefineries in operations in the United States, with another 78 under construction, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.

   Brazil is a leading ethanol producer and exporter. To date, most of its ethanol comes from sugar cane, but it is working on an agreement with the United States to share information on developing and improving sources of ethanol production.

   The state of Florida is also aggressively pursuing the ethanol market for both biorefineries and for development of ethanol from sawgrass. The state also sees ethanol as a growth market for Florida ports.

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