Sugar production in Brazil's Center-South for the first fortnight of the 2021-22 season showed a drop of 35.75% year on year at 624,000 mt, data from trade association UNICA showed April 27.
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The figure was lower than the consensus expectations of 650,000 mt from 11 analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts.
Mills in CS Brazil crushed 15.63 million mt of sugarcane in first-half April, down 30.57% year on year, UNICA said.
"The reduction in the cane crush for H1 April was because lesser mills were in operation compared to the prior season due to an average 10-12 day delayed start to the harvest because of suboptimal weather induced poor cane maturation," a Sao Paulo-based trader said.
Sugar's share of the crush for H1 April was 38.55% compared with 40.15% a year earlier.
A total 147 mills were operating as of April 16, 33 less than in the same period of 2020. There were 141 mills processing sugarcane, five processing corn ethanol, and one flex mill operating. Market participants expect another 60 mills to begin operation in second-half April.
Total recoverable sugar, or ATR, in H1 April was 108.73 kg/mt, a decrease of 3.62% year on year.
Ethanol production, sales
Ethanol production in CS Brazil was 730.55 million liters in H1 April, down from 986.23 million liters a year earlier, UNICA said. Hydrous ethanol production accounted for 626.06 million liters of the total, while anhydrous ethanol output was 104.49 million liters, it said.
Corn ethanol production in H1 April was 111.43 million liters, an increase of 29.12% year on year.
Ethanol sales by mills in CS Brazil during H1 April were 960.75 million liters, 19.53% higher year on year, with 943.48 million liters going to the domestic market and 17.53 million liters for export.
"Although ethanol sales in H1 April showed a noticeable increase year on year because of strong domestic demand and competitive pricing, it is important to remember that H1 April ethanol sales were still down compared to H1 April 2019," said a second Sao Paulo-based trader.
The quantity of hydrous ethanol sold was 650.50 million liters, 14.67% higher on the year. The quantity of anhydrous ethanol sold was 293 million liters, 47.15% higher on the year.
Ethanol for non-fuel purposes sold in H1 April was 36.54 million liters, a decrease of 32.94% year on year. The drop in non-fuel ethanol sales was driven by weaker demand for hand sanitizer, UNICA said.