"President Donald Trump’s America First rhetoric is doing no favors for U.S. ethanol producers, who are hoping to avoid a trade fight with fuel buyers in Brazil.
The administration has started making noise about rising imports of Brazilian biofuel made from sugar. That’s got the South American producer mulling tariffs or a quota on imports of U.S. fuel made from corn. A trade spat would be a much bigger problem up north because the U.S. ships more than four times as much to Brazil than it buys from the country.
The brewing trade dispute is gearing up to pit the world’s two biggest ethanol producers against each other. As the rivalry heats up, hedge funds seem to be signaling that Brazil will be the winner -- speculators cut their bullish bets on corn last week while getting less bearish on sugar."