In Brazil, UNICA protested over what it said are misconstrued reports over Brazilian government plans to support the sugarcane and ethanol industries. “Media reports this week have seriously misconstrued an announcement made on Friday, February 24, by the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry,” IUNICA said in a released statement. “The announcement, dubbed a “Strategic Plan” for the sugar-energy industry, includes a series of measures involving credit and financing. Instead, published remarks have attempted to depict these measures as direct subsidies for the Brazilian sugarcane industry.
“Published remarks attempt to describe these investment projections as government funds being made available to the sugarcane industry, which is simply not the case.
“In fact, financing programs described in the government Plan are being offered at market rates, not subsidized rates. Of the various modes of financing contemplated in the government announcement, only is currently available to the industry, for crop renewal. This single program is only available until December 31, 2012, without guarantee that it will be repeated next year. Rates for these loans, once again, are market rates, not subsidized rates.
“A loan, particularly one that involves market rates, is not a subsidy, and we expect those in the U.S. ethanol industry, who also borrow funds from time to time, to know the difference.”