UNICA: Producers prioritize hydrous ethanol production in April

By Erin Voegele | May 18, 2015

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has announced producers in the country’s south-central region have prioritized hydrous ethanol production since the beginning of the season.

According to UNICA, 63.65 percent of the sugarcane processed during the second half of April went to ethanol production, up slightly from 62.57 percent during the same period of last year. From the start of the current season through the end of April, 66.08 percent of processed sugarcane was used to produce ethanol.

UNICA indicated ethanol production during the second half of April reached 1.14 billion liters (301.16 million gallons), up 16.9 percent from the 972.68 million liters produced during the same period of last year. Sugar production reached 1.04 million tons, up from 940,390 tons last year.

From the start of the season through the end of April, ethanol production was 1.94 billion liters, up 18.6 percent from last year, including 1.5 billion liters of hydrous ethanol and 438.07 million liters of anhydrous ethanol. Sugar production was up 6.10 percent, reaching 1.59 million tons.

“The growth in demand for hydrous ethanol in recent months stimulated greater production of the biofuel, which up to now has seen a 35.15 percent increase compared to the 2014/2015 season,” said Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, technical director of UNICA, in a statement. The pace of production and consumption of hydrous ethanol at the start of the current season is similar to that observed in 2009, indicating that a more ethanol-oriented production mix should be seen this season, Rodrigues added.

According to UNICA, producers sold 1.46 billion liters of hydrous ethanol into the domestic market during April, up 49.39 percent from the 977.52 million liters sold during the same month of last year. Domestic sales of anhydrous ethanol were 678.19 million liters in April, down 21.43 percent compared to the 863.18 million liters sold in March.

Producers in the south-central region sold 2.17 billion liters of ethanol in April, up 20.05 percent from the 1.81 billion liters sold during the same month of last year. Of that volume, only 34.09 million liters were destined for export, a 79.83 percent drop from April 2014.

From the start of the current season through the end of April, units in the region have crushed 45.03 million tons of sugarcane, up 11.54 percent from the same period of last year. As of the end of April, UNICA said 210 producing units were operating in the region, down from 220 units during the same period last year. The number of operating units increased to 250 during the first half of May.