The impact of falling oil prices on the biofuels sector

Biodiesel Network June 25: The sharp drop in oil prices from mid-2014 to early 2015 has been shown to have a huge impact on the energy market. In January 2015, Brent oil prices and WTI oil prices both fell below $50. Although the oil price rebounded to around $60, it was still well below the mid-2014 level of $100. As a major importer of oil prices, the overall decline in oil prices is positive for Brazil. Petrobras in the form of semi-state-owned enterprises had net income of R$ 5.3 billion in the first quarter of 2015. However, due to the need to sell crude oil at very low subsidy prices to curb inflation, Petrobras’ actual net debt in the first quarter was as high as 332.45 billion. Seoul. In addition to the oil industry, low oil prices have also affected other related industries.

Low oil prices are mixed for the biofuels sector/industry/sector. At a macro level, low oil prices are not good for biofuel products. For Brazil, its main biofuel sugar cane-based ethanol has already felt the competitive pressure of low oil prices. In the context of the global sugar farmers surplus, sugar cane-based ethanol can be described as an enemy. In recent years, sugar prices have fallen by 10-20%, and inventories are increasing, which cannot be ignored by the entire industry.

As the world's leading sugar producer, before August 2014, Brazil's annual sugar production was 653,443 tons. By December 2014, the annual production of Brazilian sugar products was 37,709 tons. Although it is usually possible to regulate market pressure by rationally arranging sugar and ethanol, the price of oil and sugar has fallen together, and in the bad weather, 83 sugar processing companies have been unable to make ends meet in the past six years.

Despite the current difficulties, the situation may not be so bad in the long run. First of all, the overall output continued to grow in 2014, with ethanol production increasing by 18.2% to 27.54 billion liters. In addition, due to the regulation of Brazilian energy prices, the global energy price decline will not have too much impact on the country's gas stations. In April 2015, the country's gasoline price rose to R$3.31/litre, which was 3.03 and 2.99 in January and April last year, respectively. In fact, as a substitute for gasoline, Brazilian law requires an ethanol/gasoline mix ratio of 1:3. From the perspective of the country's cars, most have made appropriate adjustments to cater for fuel changes, 87.7% of cars can use flexible fuels - any ratio of ethanol / gasoline blends. In January 2015, the Brazilian government increased fuel taxes to boost government revenues and maintain prices. The impact is expected to result in a gasoline price increase of R$0.22 per liter and a diesel price increase of R$0.15 per liter. In addition, the recent Brazilian government's decision to increase the proportion of ethanol from 25% to 27.5% will also increase the use of ethanol, thereby curbing the price down. Ironically, this move is also a huge plus for Petrobras.

The Brazilian biofuels company will continue to bear the pressure of double falling oil prices and sugar prices in the near future. In addition, similar to all agricultural products, biofuels will also depend on weather factors. However, in the long run, with the support of the government, all negative factors are expected to be minimized.

Author: Bruno Vasconcelos

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This salt is used to initiate polymerziation of various alkenes leading to commercially important polymers such as styrene-butadiene rubber andpolytetrafluoroethylene and related materials.

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It is a Food Additive.

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