DUBAI Feb 3 A director of commodity trading
giant Glencore on Sunday questioned the conversion of corn into
ethanol biofuel, saying it can contribute to higher prices.
Critics of using foodstuffs to make fuel say the process can
drive up food prices by reducing available supplies, hitting the
world's poorest people hardest.
Responding to a question in a panel discussion at the
Kingsman Dubai sugar conference, Chris Mahoney, director of
agricultural products at Glencore, said; "Ethanol production
from grains and from edible oil is questionable."
He added, "It has been a factor in creating a higher price
Sunny Verghese, CEO of commodity merchant Olam International
Ltd, which trades a range of agricultural commodities, was more
critical of the use of corn to make ethanol.
"It is inappropriate. It does not make sense to convert corn
to ethanol," Verghese told delegates.
"But it makes sense to convert sugarcane to ethanol."
Later Verghese told Reuters: "I don't believe that
converting corn into ethanol helps the food complex. I don't
think, given the input-output usage efficiency, it makes a lot
of sense to do this."
He did not elaborate.
The Feb. 2-5 Kingsman sugar conference has gathered more
than 600 sugar trade leaders from around the world.
(Reporting by David Brough; editing by Keiron Henderson)