UNICA: Prioritization of ethanol production continues

By Erin Voegele | August 05, 2015

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has reported that mills in the country’s south-central region continued to prioritize ethanol production during the first half of July.

According to UNICA, rains disrupted harvest activities during the two-week period. Mills in Brazil’s south-central region processed only 29.26 million tons of sugarcane during the first half of July, down 29.31 percent from the same period of the prior year, and down 37.2 percent compared to the second half of June. From the start of the current season through mid-July, the total recoverable sugars index was 122.48 kilograms per ton, down 3.5 percent from last year.

Only 39.07 percent of the sugarcane processed during the first half of July went to sugar production, down from 46.4 percent during the same period of 2014. From the start of the current season, only 39.92 percent of sugarcane has gone to sugar production, the lowest percentage since the 2008-’09 season.

During the first half of July, UNICA reported ethanol production was 1.39 billion liters (367.2 million gallons), including 527.89 million liters of anhydrous ethanol and 859.19 million liters of hydrous ethanol. During the same period of 2014, 1.81 billion liters of ethanol was produced.

From the start of the current season through mid-July, ethanol production was 9.98 billion liters, down slightly from 10.26 billion liters during the previous season. Production this year has included 3.39 billion liters of anhydrous ethanol and 6.59 billion liters of hydrous ethanol.

Ethanol sales by mills in the south-central region reached 1.21 billion liters during the first half of July, up from 986.36 million during the same period of last year. UNICA reported that 1.15 billion liters was sold into Brazil’s domestic market, with 57.08 million liters destined for export.

From April through mid-July, total ethanol sales by units in the south-central region reached 8.14 billion liters, with 7.85 billion liters sold domestically and 288.97 million liters sold into export markets. During the same period of last year, only 6.9 billion liters of ethanol was sold.