UNICA: Ethanol sales stay strong in early May

By Erin Voegele | May 30, 2019

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has announced sugarcane processing and ethanol production were both down during the first half of May. Sales of ethanol, however, remained strong.

Mills in Brazil’s south-central region processed 38.63 million tons of sugarcane during the first half of May, down 9.71 percent when compared to the same period of last year. Since the beginning of the current harvest season, which began April 1, mills in the region have processed 84.15 million tons of sugarcane, down 18.27 percent from the previous season.

UNICA said 326 processing units were operational as of May 15, down from 248 during the same period of last year. An additional 11 mills were expected to begin harvesting during the second half of May.

According to UNICA, only 32.29 percent of sugarcane processed through May 15 went to sugar production, down from 35.15 percent during the same period of last year.

Mills in the south-central region produced 1.78 billion liters (470.23 million gallons) of ethanol during the first half of May, down 14.28 percent when compared to the same period of 2018. Production of hydrous ethanol reached 1.22 billion liters, down 13.99 percent, while the production of anhydrous ethanol fell to 559.85 million liters, down 14.9 percent.

Since the beginning of the current season, ethanol production has reached 4.01 million liters, including 3.06 billion liters of hydrous ethanol and 954 million liters of anhydrous ethanol.

UNICA reported that 49.91 million liters of corn ethanol was produced during the first half of May. Since April 1, production of corn ethanol has reached 150.55 million liters, up 67.02 percent when compared to the same period of last year.

Ethanol sales by plants in the south-central region reached 1.32 billion liters during the first half of May, up 15.89 percent when compared to the same period of last year. Domestic sales of hydrous ethanol reached 934.72 million liters during the two-week period, up 21.53 when compared to the same period of last year. Domestic sales of anhydrous ethanol reached 382.36 million liters, up 16.35 percent from last year.

Since the beginning of the current harvest season, ethanol sales by mills in the region have reached 3.83 billion liters, including 3.77 billion liters sold domestically and 64.66 million liters that were destined for export.