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Center-South Brazil 2018-19 crop year closes, cumulative sugar cane crush falls 3.9%

Houston — The Center-South Brazilian sugar season came to a close March 31, with 573.072 million mt of cane crushed, down 3.9% from the 596.330 million mt crushed during the 2017-18 crop year, Brazilian sugar industry association UNICA said Tuesday.

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Total Recoverable Sugar finished the season up 0.94% from the previous season to 137.87 kg/mt, an eight-year high, UNICA said.

A total of 7.026 million mt of sugarcane was crushed in CS Brazil in the second half of March, up from 1.591 million mt in the first half of March, but down from 7.774 million a year ago, UNICA said.

CS Brazilian mills produced 137,000 mt of sugar in H2 March, up from 9,000 mt of sugar in H1 March, but down 17.38% from the year-ago period.

Total sugar production during the season fell 26.51% from a year ago, totaling 26.5 million mt, UNICA said.

Total ethanol production in H2 March totaled 280 million liters, down 10.78% from the 2017-18 crop year. For anhydrous ethanol, 39 million liters was produced during the period, with hydrous ethanol production totaling 342 million liters during the period.

Total ethanol production on the year surged 18.63% to reach 30.949 billion liters. Anhydrous production fell 12.27% year on year to 9.141 billion liters and hydrous ethanol production finished 39.17% higher over the same period to 21.808 billion liters, the data showed.

About 35.20% of cane crushed was used in sugar production for the season, with the remaining 64.80% used for ethanol production. The proportion of cane dedicated to ethanol production rose 11.26% from the previous season.

"This change in the mix shows the competitive advantage of the Brazilian sugar and ethanol industry, without comparison with another sugar-producing region in the world and allowing a better price risk management by the mills," said Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, technical director of UNICA.

Total hydrous ethanol sales in H2 March reached 851.51 million liters, up 19.2% from the year-ago period. On the season, ethanol sales totaled 31.08 billion liters, up 17.53% from the 2017-18 results. Of the total, 1.63 billion liters were exported with the remainder being sold domestically.

Anhydrous ethanol sales totaled 9.565 billion liters on the season, of which 1.022 billion liters were sold into external markets and 8.543 billion liters were sold domestically.

Hydrous ethanol sales on the season totaled 21.513 billion liters, of which 613.662 million liters were exported with the remaining 20.900 billion liters consumed domestically.

The CS Brazil crop year runs from April 1 to March 31.

-- Jordan Young,

-- Edited by Valarie Jackson,