UNICA releases forecast for 2015-’16 sugarcane season

By Erin Voegele | May 16, 2016

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, recently published a sugarcane harvest forecast for the 2016-’17 season, predicting the south-central region of the country will crush 605 to 630 million tons of sugarcane, depending on weather conditions, and agronomic and operational factors. The Center for Sugarcane Technology and other unions and associations contributed to the forecast.

According to information published by UNICA, the groups predict sugar production will reach 33.5 million to 35 million tons, up from 31.22 million tons produced during the 2015-’16 season.

Ethanol production is expected to range from 27.5 to 28.7 billion liters (7.26 to 7.58 billion gallons). Of that volume, 10.8 to 11 billion could be anhydrous ethanol, with 16.7 to 17.7 billion liters of hydrous ethanol production.

UNICA also predicted total recoverable sugars will range from 134 to 136 kilograms per ton during the harvest season.

According to UNICA, mills in the south-central region of Brazil processed 32.84 million tons of sugarcane during the first half of April, up from 13.05 million tons during the same period of last year. The increase is attributed to dry weather and the large number of mills operating during the period. An estimated 137 mills were operating in the region in early April, jumping to 205 by the end of the month, up from 165 during the same period of the 2015-’16 season.

Approximately 40.99 percent of sugarcane, or 1.43 million tons, went to sugar production during the first half of April. Ethanol production during the same period reached 1.29 billion liters, up from 569.96 million liters during the same period of last year. Of that volume, 891.29 million liters was hydrous ethanol and 387.29 million liters was anhydrous ethanol.

Ethanol sales during the first half of April were at 1.01 billion liters, similar to the 1.1 billion reported during the same period of the previous season. Of that volume, 39.69 million liters was destined for export, with 968.85 million liters destined for the domestic market.