UNICA: Ethanol production up nearly 5% through December

By Erin Voegele | January 15, 2016

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has announced that with the harvest season almost finished, the sugarcane crush in the south-central region reached approximately 594.08 million tons at the end of December, up 4.58 percent when compared to the previous season. Mills in the region processed 10.44 million tons of sugarcane during the final half of December, up 183 percent from the prior year.

According to UNICA, 56 mills were continuing to process sugarcane in December and into 2016. Approximately 21 of those mills are expected to wrap up the current 2015-’16 season during the first half of January, with 13 mills expected to wrap up the season during the second half of the month. The remaining mills are expected to continue operations into February or March.

Only 32.29 percent of the sugarcane processed during the second half of December went to sugar production, totaling 382,990. The remaining sugarcane went to ethanol production, with 506.11 million liters (133.70 million gallons) of ethanol produced during the second half of the month. This includes 208.05 million liters of anhydrous ethanol and 298.07 million liters of hydrous ethanol.

From the start of the current season through the end of December, sugar production is down 4.35 percent, totaling 30.56 million tons. Ethanol production is up 4.87 percent, reaching 27.17 billion liters, including 16.67 billion liters of hydrous ethanol and 10.50 billion liters of anhydrous ethanol.

Ethanol sales by units in the south-central region reached 2.52 billion liters in December, with 2.34 billion liters of that volume supplying the domestic Brazilian market and 178.96 million liters destined for export. Hydrous sales of ethanol into Brazil’s domestic market totaled 1.4 billion liters in December, while anhydrous sales of ethanol into the domestic market reached 935.81 million liters.

From April through December, ethanol sales totaled 22.89 billion liters, including 21.21 billion liters sold into Brazil’s domestic market and 1.68 billion liters destined for export. During the previous season, only 18.49 billion liters of ethanol were sold during the same time period.