New York — Ethanol production in the key largest producing region of Central-South Brazil reached 32.2 billion liters in the period from April 1, 2019, to January 16, 2020, data from trade association UNICA showed Monday.
It was the highest output ever recorded for the period.
From the total ethanol produced, hydrous ethanol, the E100 standalone biofuel, was responsible for 22.3 billion liters in the crop period 2019-20, or 6.01% more than in the same period of the prior crop, while anhydrous, which is used at a mandatory blend of 27% in gasoline added 9.9 billion liters, or 7.96%, year on year.
Corn ethanol production in Brazil has also spiked recently and recorded a cumulative production of 1.14 billion liters, or 103% higher than in the same period of the crop year 2018-19. Despite still representing a small portion of the Brazilian total ethanol output, near 3.5%, it has been an important source to supply the biofuel demand during the cane intercrop period, January to March.
Steady domestic hydrous ethanol demand has been the main trigger for that production record, and in the first 15 days of January, CS mills recorded domestic sales at 877 million liters, slightly more than the 869 million liters in the same period of 2019. In the cumulative period from April 1 to January 16, the domestic hydrous ethanol sales reported by mills was at 18.5 billion liters, a surge of 12.09% year on year.
In the cumulative period of the 2019-20 crop year, Brazilian CS mills crushed 578.72 million mt of cane, up 2.78% on the year.
According to Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, the UNICA technical director, cane ethanol availability is expected to increase in the first two weeks of March, when mills will start to crush the 2020-21 crop.
Sugar production in CS Brazil added 26.48 million mt since the beginning of the 2019-20 crop year in April, a slight increase of 0.50% from 26.354 million mt accumulated in the same period of the 2018-19 crop year. That lower sugar production reflected a lower international sugar price and producers willing to move more cane toward ethanol production.
Cumulative cane crushed was at 578.72 million mt, up 2.78% year on year, while the ethanol mix moved from 64.54% in the prior crop to 65.49% in the 2019-20 crop year.