China wants to join Ethanol craze

The ethanol craze is arriving in China. The Chinese government is investing in searching the crop that will satisfy, at least partially, China's needs for fuels. The best candidates so far are sorghum and tapioca. The country is currently the world's third largest ethanol producer, although far behind numbers 1 and 2, Brazil and the US. The current crop of choice is corn and it's claimed that it's the reason behind a recent 30 percent rise of the price of grains in China.

Therefore, the government has given instructions to stop producing ethanol from grains and switch to sorghum and tapioca but also rapeseed and sugarcane. Current targets for 2010 are 3.8 million tons of biodiesel and 6 million tons of ethanol. However, these numbers are far short from the country's needs and government campaigns to reduce pollution.

Someone is seeing a business here. According to Marcia Doner, economy advisor at the Brazilian embassy in Beijing, "China's population is gigantic and all the agricultural land is already being used. They will need to import huge quantities of ethanol". However, importing ethanol isn't the only option they have and they are currently investing in cellulosic ethanol, as Abdolreza Abbasian from FAO said.

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