Monday, May 01, 2006

Sweet Source of Growth

Increasing percentages of the cane harvests in countries such as Brazil, the world's largest sugar exporter, and Colombia, which ranks No. 7, are being diverted to making ethanol, which is constraining supplies and driving up prices.

So it's no accident that Cali, where half of all jobs are connected to the sugar industry, exudes prosperity these days. The unemployment rate in this city of 2.5 million, 11.4%, is the lowest of any large Colombian city. Eleven shopping centers have opened or begun construction in the last year, Dominguez said, and crime is down significantly.
Demand for ethanol is causing sugar growers in Latin America to have banner years and is raising the price of sugar. This is both good for our teeth and good for the environment. If only we could import more of the stuff without tariffs.
In Bogota, they pay about the same as for a gallon of regular gasoline, about $2.50, but get 20 percent fewer miles per gallon, according to several taxi drivers.
Interesting that they only lose 20% of the miles with a gallon of ethanol. I thought ethanol only had 66% of the energy of gasoline and therefore would only go 66% as far, not 80%.

via LA Times

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