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Officials have wrapped up North Dakota's first ethanol-focused trade mission.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring led officials with North Dakota ethanol organizations and a North Dakota State University biofuel research professor on the trip Aug. 5-9. The North Dakota Trade Office partnered with U.S. Commercial Service to facilitate the trip. The goal was to increase the state's share of Brazil's ethanol fuel market.

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Brazil was the No. 1 importer of U.S. ethanol in 2018. The trade mission occurred as Brazilian authorities debate lifting ethanol trade barriers, which include a 20% tariff on imported ethanol after an annual quota of 158 million gallons is reached. That decision is expected Aug. 31.

"The Brazilian market is quite promising, especially if the 20% duty is eliminated, and this trade mission helped us build mutually beneficial relationships with ethanol industry leaders," Goehring said.

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