UNICA: Brazil continues to prioritize ethanol production in May

By Erin Voegele | June 12, 2015

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has announced that mills in the nation’s south-central region continued to prioritize ethanol production over sugar production during the second half of May.

According to UNICA, ethanol production during the second half of May was up 8.53 percent when compared to the same period of last year, reaching 1.74 billion liters (459.66 million gallons). Hydrous ethanol production was up 29.2 percent, reaching 1.13 billion liters during the second half of May, compared to 877.13 million liters during the same period of 2014.

From the start of the current season through the end of May, UNICA said ethanol production is up 1.7 percent, reaching 4.91 billion liters. The production of hydrous ethanol is up 20.32 percent, reaching 3.48 billion liters. During the same time period, sugar production was 4.78 million tons, down 12.02 percent from the same period of last year.

Ethanol sales by south-central producers were 2.26 billion liters in May, up 6.77 percent from the same month of 2014. UNICA indicated sales of hydrous ethanol into Brazil’s domestic market reached 1.46 billion liters, up 33.02 percent from the 1.10 billion liters sold in May 2014. During the second half of May, sales totaled 732.04 million liters compared to 575.96 million liters during the same period of last year.

UNICA also noted that sales of anhydrous ethanol into Brazil’s domestic market reached 730.13 million liters in May. Exports were 73.76million, down more than 50 percent from exports reported in May 2014.

During the second half of May, mills in the south-central region processed 40.10 million tons of sugarcane, up 5.53 percent when compared to last year. From the start of the current season through the end of May, the crush was 114.28 million tons, down from 117.31 million tons during the same period of last year.

As of the close of May, UNICA said 262 producing units were operating in the region, with an additional 20 units expected to begin operations in the coming weeks. Yields through the end of May were 82.7 tons per hectare, up from 79.2 tons per hectare during the same period of last year. From the start of the current season through the end of May, total recoverable sugar concentrations were 116.57 kilograms per ton, down 1.84 percent from last year.