Germany minister wants to halt E10 to counter soaring food prices

15 August 2012 17:35  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s minister for economic cooperation and development wants the country to halt the production of 10%-ethanol-blended gasoline (E10) in a bid to counter rising global food prices, he said on Wednesday.

“With rising food costs, biofuel production can be a contributory factor to hunger in the world,” minister Dirk Niebel said.

“The [E10] blending mandate means, at the end of the day, that people will have less food, and that’s why we have to rethink this,” Niebel said in a webcast interview on German television.

Niebel also noted that E10 was never popular with German drivers. He added that he is not opposed to biofuels derived from non-food biomass.

However, Germany’s biofuels producers association Verband der Deutschen Biokraftstoffindustrie (VDB) said that a government ban on E10 would be “symbolic policy making” with no effect on food security in developing countries.

Only about 4% of Germany’s grain harvest in 2011 was used for bioethanol production, VDB said.

In addition, the current rise in food prices was primarily the result of the extensive drought in the US, the group added.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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