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BusinessWeek is reporting that Brazil can convert its sugar cane to sugar or ethanol and will switch from one to the other as prices change. The tipover point is $0.21/lb world sugar price. Above this number, the product comes to market as sugar; below as ethanol.

Brazil sugar cane is largely self sufficient on energy. They burn the cellulosic sugar cane waste (called bagasse) as fuel to process sugar or distill ethanol. They may still have diesel fuel costs (or do they burn ethanol) to work the fields, and they may have fertilizer requirements.

Of course oil prices impact ethanol and thus can shift the equation.

World Sugar prices are falling. In December was 23.42.

The US sugar price is 37.19.

Sugar price supports enable high fructose corn syrup just as ethanol fuel supports corn prices.
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