Brasil parece estar destinado a pelear la corona global de los biocombustibles con Estados Unidos. De todos modos, el resultado del partido todavía no está definido en materia de biodiesel donde la Argentina tiene grandes chances de pelear la punta.
Hace un tiempo Javi aportó un artículo que ilustra el nerviosismo imperante en Brasil con relación a este tema. La lectura de la nota no deja espacio a ambiguedades: ¡nuestros vecinos se preparan, otra vez, para la guerra!
Brazil Soy Industry Prepares For Biodiesel War With Argentina
SAO PAULO and BUENOS AIRES (Dow Jones)--Brazil's major soyoil producers are preparing for a fight against Argentina over the biodiesel market, hoping Brasilia can convince Buenos Aires that Argentine tax policies are bad for Brazil's biodiesel program.
Brazil soy oil is the number one ingredient used in making biodiesel. Soy oil companies think Argentina's cheaper costs will cut them out of the market, especially the export markets.
"We're going to convince the government that they have to gun for Argentina on this issue, play tough," said Carlo Lovatelli, president of the Brazilian Vegetable Oils Industry Association, or Abiove.
"Biodiesel investments are heading to Argentina and not Brazil because it makes more sense to produce it there than here because of tax and trade incentives. We can be importing biodiesel from Argentina very soon," Lovatelli said.
Brazil produces biodiesel at roughly $0.50 a liter, or 1.40 Brazilian reals on the low end, according to Safras & Mercado. Production costs can be as high as BLR1.60 a liter. Argentina can make it for $0.22 a liter, according to Argentine agribusiness consulting firm Abaceb.
In early February, Argentine President Nestor Kirchner signed an executive order to create a national biofuel law designed to make Argentina a biodiesel exporter. Kirchner put a low 5% export tax on biofuels, compared with a 24% export tax on soyoil. That makes it more beneficial for soyoil companies to sell their soyoil to fuel refineries for export than it does to export pure soybean oil for human consumption, Lovatelli said.
Domestic demand is also assured as Argentina's Biofuels Act mandates a 5% content of biodiesel or ethanol in the nation's fuel by 2010. The measure also provides tax breaks for companies investing in the sector. Santa Fe Province, which dominates soybean production and processing, has also offered a host of tax breaks to stimulate biofuel production.
But analysts here say Argentina is much more interested in exporting. Argentina wants to export biodiesel to the European and U.S. biofuels market, while its rival to the north is worried that Argentina's cheaper product will simply cut Brazil out of the export market and surely make investing difficult.