An Analysis of the Link between Ethanol, Energy, and Crop Markets

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2006-11-01
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Tokgoz, Simla
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Elobeid, Amani
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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This study analyzes the impact of price shocks in three input and output markets critical to ethanol: gasoline, corn, and sugar. We investigate the impact of these shocks on ethanol and related agricultural markets in the United States and Brazil. We find that the composition of a country's vehicle fleet determines the direction of the response of ethanol consumption to changes in the gasoline price. We also find that a change in feedstock costs affects the profitability of ethanol producers and the domestic ethanol price. In Brazil, where two commodities compete for sugarcane, changes in the sugar market affect the competing ethanol market.

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