UNICA: Data shows record setting 2018-’19 season for ethanol

By Erin Voegele | May 08, 2019

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, recently released data confirming the country set new records for ethanol production, consumption and sales in 2018-’19. UNICA also released data on the first two weeks of the new harvest season.

According to UNICA, Brazil produced a record 33.1 billion liters (8.74 billion gallons) of ethanol during the 2018-’19 harvest season, which began April 1, 2018. Production included 9.91 billion liters of anhydrous ethanol and 23.18 billion liters of hydrous ethanol. During the season, approximately 64.29 percent of the sugarcane that was processed went to ethanol production.

Brazilian mills sold an estimated 30.61 billion liters of ethanol during the 2018-’19 season, up 20.44 percent when compared to the previous season. Of that volume, sales of hydrous ethanol reached 21.43 billion liters, up 39.71 percent when compared to the previous season. Sales of anhydrous ethanol fell by 8.88 percent to 9.18 billion liters.

According to UNICA, consumption of hydrous ethanol in Brazil reached 20.73 billion liters, up 39.4 percent when compared to the 2017-’18 season. Consumption of anhydrous ethanol reached 10.1 billion liters. On a combined basis, 30.83 billion liters of ethanol was consumed during the harvest year.

For the first two weeks of the 2019-’20 harvest season, UNICA reported mills in the country’s south-central region processed 13.86 million tons of sugarcane, down 37.99 percent when compared to the same period of the previous year.

UNICA forecasted that 176 million would be in operation by April 15, up from 150 mills that were operating at the start of the month.

During the two-week period, 76.45 percent of the sugarcane processed went to ethanol production, up from 68.65 percent during the same period of the previous year.

Ethanol production reached 736.73 million liters during the first half of April, including 662.39 million liters of hydrous ethanol and 74.34 million liters of anhydrous ethanol.

Ethanol sales during the two-week period reached 1.18 billion liters, including 6.92 million liters destined for export and 1.17 billion liters sold domestically.

In the domestic market, UNICA said the volume of hydrous ethanol sold reached 863.17 million liters, up 43.95 percent when compared to the same period of 2018. Domestic sales of anhydrous ethanol reached 306.02 million liters, down from 323.92 million liters reported for the same period of last year.