US approves $2.5 billion sale of biofuels to Mexico
Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has approved a $2 billion sale to US biofuel maker Cargill of the controversial biofuel, the first time a Mexican president has granted permission for the sale of such a product.
Cargill said on Wednesday the deal would give the Mexican government $1.7 billion to buy biofuel from the United States.
The deal, which will go into effect in 2018, will include a 20-year lease for an agricultural land in the state of Michoacan.
Mexico is already the world’s largest exporter of corn and soybeans, but is struggling to meet demand for biofuethanol, a cheaper alternative to gasoline.
The deal comes a month after Penañones administration announced it had approved a deal to buy an undisclosed amount of biofuel for Mexico from the European Union.
Pena Nieto said in a statement on Wednesday that the sale was a “great and necessary step” to help the Mexican economy.
Mexico, which is in the midst of an economic recovery, has been one of the biggest exporters of bioenergy to the United Kingdom and the European market.
Critics of the biofuel have slammed the move, saying it will allow Cargil to profit from Mexico’s domestic woes.
“The agreement signed today will help the country become an energy producer again and help to reduce its dependence on foreign markets,” Penaño said in the statement.
Cargil said the agreement with Mexico would help its Mexico operations grow at an even faster pace and increase its capacity.