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Brazil to lift tax on ethanol

March 04, 2013

SAO PAULO, March 4: The Brazilian government plans to exempt fuel ethanol of certain taxes that if approved by regulators could be equivalent to 10 per cent of the pump price, the Valor Economico newspaper reported on Monday.

The government could lift the so-called PIS/Cofins taxes applied to the biofuel as soon as April, the newspaper said without saying how it acquired the information.

Valor Economico reported that the plan merely needs the signature of Energy Minister Edison Lobao, who in February said the government was considering the tax break to revive investments in the cane ethanol industry.

The taxes jointly account for about 0.15 to 0.20 reais per litre of the final cost of ethanol for consumers.

The ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the article, published on www.valor.com.br website.

Brazil's once vibrant cane ethanol industry has struggled with rising costs and government price controls on gasoline.

Over the past three years, roughly 40 mills have closed their doors, many for good, due to their rising debts.—Reuters