Brazil to decide biodiesel mandate in March meeting, ministry says

Adds information on March biodiesel mandate

SAO PAULO, Feb 24 (Reuters)Brazil’s National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) will decide the country’s mandatory blend of biodiesel in diesel in a meeting scheduled to take place in March, the Ministry of Mines and Energy said on Friday.

The current 10% mandatory blend will remain in force throughout March and the percentage from April onwards will be defined at the meeting, the ministry told Reuters, without disclosing an exact date for the meeting.

The biodiesel industry was expecting a decision on a potential increase in the mixture in February, so that it could go into effect in March.

A definition of the biodiesel blend in diesel would be important for the sector’s planning, since it affects the soy processing volume, the main raw material of the biofuel.

Brazil’s Vice-president Geraldo Alckmin said on Friday that the government intends to increase the percentage, but did not give further details.

“We need to increase the percentage of biodiesel in diesel, it is at 10% and has already been 13%, it was reduced in the last government,” Alckmin said after a meeting with Minister of Agriculture Carlos Favaro.

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(Reporting by Roberto Samora; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Will Dunham)

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