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Hydrous ethanol sales by CS mills up 6.39% on year, prompting rise in prices

Highlights

Platts hydrous ethanol assessment up 3.34% on the day

Anhydrous sales to the domestic market down 0.77% on year

Hydrous ethanol sales to the domestic market reported by Center-South mills added 1.47 billion liters in March, an increase of 6.39% year on year, Brazilian industry association UNICA said in its bimonthly report released April 13.

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A few minutes before the report's release, S&P Global Platts was hearing hydrous ex-mill Ribeirao Preto offered at Real 3,050/cu m, while distributors' bids were at Real 2,995/cu m.

Market participants were caught by surprise when the sales numbers were released, as most were not expecting a year-on-year increase, even considering that in March 2020 the coronavirus pandemic hit Brazil, triggering a collapse in the fuel sales that month.

In the 30 minutes after the report's release, hydrous offers rose to Real 3,100/cu m, where it has also traded.

Platts assessed hydrous ethanol ex-mill Ribeirao Preto on April 13 at Real 3,095/cu m, up 3.34% on the day and at the highest price since March 19, when the assessment settled at Real 3,200/cu m.

Anhydrous sales decline

In the opposite direction, anhydrous sales to the domestic market were at 770 million liters, a drop of 0.77% year on year.

Considering total ethanol sales reported by CS mills to the domestic market, the cumulative volume was 28.09 billion liters, down 10.44% from the prior crop, but 3.93% above from the average of the prior three crops.

Despite the reduced hydrous sales in the crop 2020-21 (April to March), the volume-weighted average price of hydrous ethanol to the domestic market was at Real 2,342/cubic meter, up 5.5% from the 2019-20 crop and 16% higher than the volume-weighted average price of the prior four crop years.

Production

In the crop year 2020-21, cane ethanol production by CS mills was 30.36 billion liters, down 8.7% from 33.25 billion liters a year earlier, UNICA said.

Hydrous ethanol production accounted for 20.67 billion liters of the total, while anhydrous ethanol output was 9.69 billion liters, according to UNICA.

Corn ethanol production totaled 2.57 billion liters, an increase of 58% year on year