New Ethanol plant here

Near the midwest town where I live they are opening a new ethanol plant (produced from corn). It said in the article that 60% of the ethanol produced will be
shipped to Japan and other foreign countries. What is the likely reason for that?
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Brazil is now producing all the auto fuel by sugar cane and are now 100% independent on foreign oil and gas imports. Coasty

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Coasty wrote, " Brazil is now producing all the auto fuel by sugar cane and are now 100% independent on foreign oil and gas imports." Coasty *************************************** That doesn't really address the OP's question, but I understand that ethanol produced from sugar is said to be "8 times better" than that from corn. But I am surprised to hear ethanol produced here is shipped away...apparently Japan will pay more for it??
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It is about time the farmers get a piece of the pie. Coasty

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they dont have enough room on that island to grow their own corn. same reason my cousin drives a truck load of hay out to long beach harbor on his kenworth every couple weeks.

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OK, start over: Why would Japan be buying ethanol to be transported from the Midwest U.S. instead of just buying oil / gasoline / fuel from somewhere closer?"
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are they growing a lot of corn in California?
they sure are in Nebraska. dont know if there's anything closer.

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I think I might actually be able to answer your question here. Gasoline in Japan costs ~$7 a gallon. They have to buy it from the same places we do, and since they are an 'ally' they get schtupped about the same as we do. I guess they are more adventurous, and would rather have their fuel dollars going to an ally than a pootential enemy (that is just my guess). Plus, I would imagine they are trying to reduce their dependance on unrenewable fuel and run more and more things on something that will be around a long, long time after the rotted dinosaurs have been burnt up and are encircling the Earth in the Ozone Layer.
In other words; they're smarter than we are. They are DOING something about the dependance on Foreign Oil rather than crying about it.
I am willing to bet the switch to Ethanol will be painful at first, but as people (here) learn that there is money to be made from making Everclear that more and more places will be learning to make Corn Squeezin's, and eventually the price will be less than Fossil Fuels, as the supplies of one increases and the supply of the other decreases.
This could have a 'rubber band' effect, though. The Japanese are pretty big consumers of Oil. If they switch most of that demand to Ethanol, then there will be a glut of Oil on the market. If the Chinese (currently the number one *BUYER* of crude oil) follows suit, there will be a MAJOR glut of oil on the market! That means, gasoline will become cheaper and cheaper, so that we here in the US of A will continue to burn it, rather than seeing what's happening as a Wake Up Call and following the lead of the Japanese. By the time Oil prices rise agan, Japan will be getting most of the output of Ethanol, and we'll be Up The Creek energy wise, scrambling to make up lost time; in the long run, it will cost us MORE doing it LATER then it will the Japanese doing it NOW.
Very interesting question you asked! I'm glad I read it. Otherwise I might not have known about 60% of the plant's output going to Japan until much later.
Now, if only I could do something with this knowledge that would benefit us here... :)
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Where it comes from isn't as important as the total cost.
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