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CS Brazilian sugarcane crush in H2 January rises as season nears close: UNICA

Houston — A total of 563,000 mt of sugarcane was crushed in Center-South Brazil during the second half of January, up from 524,000 mt crushed in H1, Brazilian sugar industry association UNICA said Tuesday.

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The H2 January total was up from 421,000 mt during the year-ago period. Despite the increases, the total crush since April 1 was 563.298 million mt, down 3.55% from the previous season.

Crushing has neared its end, as UNICA reported only four sugarcane processing units remaining in operation during H2 January.

Total Recoverable Sugar (ATR) has risen 0.9% on the season to 138.58 kg/mt, up from 137.34 kg/mt the previous season.

CS Brazilian mills produced 5,000 mt of sugar in H2 January, down from 11,000 mt of sugar in H1 January and up from 4,000 mt in the year-ago period. Total sugar production reached 26.36 million mt, down 26.44% from the 35.84 million mt produced in the year-ago period.

The end of crushing has brought total ethanol production during H2 January to 84 million liters, of which 40 million liters were anhydrous and 44 million liters were hydrous ethanol. Total ethanol production was up 24.63% from the year-ago period.

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Total ethanol production has surged 19.57% on the year, reaching 30.29 billion liters. Anhydrous production has fallen 13.41% year on year to 9.186 billion liters and hydrous ethanol production has climbed 43.33% over the same period to 21.103 billion liters, the data showed.

Total hydrous ethanol sales over the month of January reached 1.878 billion liters, of which 47.458 million liters were sold to external markets and 1.831 billion liters were sold into the domestic market. Anhydrous ethanol sales totaled 738.46 million liters, of which 42.976 million liters were sold externally with the remaining 695.484 million sold domestically. Total ethanol sales for January rose to 2.617 billion liters, up from 2.241 billion in January 2018.

"The hot market for hydrous ethanol during the harvest reflected the high competitiveness of the renewable [fuel] compared to gasoline in most of the consumer market, even in locations where the price relationship between them was not usually favorable for biofuel," said Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, Technical Director of UNICA.

The Center-South Brazilian crop year runs from April to March.

-- Jordan Young, jordan.young@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Jennifer Pedrick, newsdesk@spglobal.com