Brazil temporarily slashes methanol import tariff to zero

08 April 2013 23:17  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Brazil’s chamber of foreign trade (Camex) said on Monday that it has temporarily cut the import tariff on methanol from 12% to zero with immediate effect.

The new tariff is valid for 180 days and is limited to maximum shipments of 560,000 tonnes, Camex said. The measure was taken because a “situation of supply shortage still persists”.

A resolution passed by South American trading block Mercosur allows member countries to temporarily reduce import tariffs to guarantee product supply, Camex said.

Methanol's main uses are in formaldehyde, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and acetic acid. Methanol is also used in the process of converting animal fat and vegetable oil into biodiesel.

According to the country’s Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC), the value of Brazilian methanol imports reached $248m (€191m) in 2012.

In August, state-run oil company Petrobras awarded Foster Wheeler a contract for the engineering of a gas-to-chemicals complex in Linhares in southeast Brazil.

The Complexo Gas-Quimico UFN-IV is expected to produce more than 1m tonnes/year of ammonia and urea fertilizers, methanol, acetic acid, formic acid and melamine.

According to Petrobras, the complex will reduce Brazil’s dependence on methanol and fertilizer imports.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Simon West

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