The U.S. Grains Council announced that Japan has finalized a change to the country's biofuels policy. As a result of this policy change, Japan will now allow the use of U.S. ethanol to meet its greenhouse gas reduction standard.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased with the announcement.

"We applaud the Japanese government for recognizing the benefits of U.S. ethanol and its improved life cycle assessment resulting from farmers' production efficiency and sustainability," said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. "We appreciate Japan's consumers putting their trust in America's corn farmers and the ethanol industry to be a consistent and reliable supplier of bio-ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) made from U.S. corn-based ethanol."

The change comes as part of the country’s update of its existing sustainability policy, approved in 2010, in which only sugarcane-based ethanol was eligible for import.

Japan will now allow U.S. ethanol to meet up to 44 percent of a total estimated demand of 217 million gallons of ethanol used to make ETBE, or potentially 95.5 million gallons of U.S.-produced ethanol annually. Japan imports nearly all of the ETBE from ethanol that it uses.

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