UNICA: Brazilian corn ethanol production continues to grow

By Erin Voegele | January 24, 2020

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has released data showing that Brazilian corn ethanol production has more than doubled over the past year and accounted for approximately two-thirds of the ethanol produced during the second half of December.

According to UNICA, mills in the south-central region of Brazil processed 733,860 tons of sugarcane during the second half of December. From the beginning of the current harvest, which began April 1, through the end of December, mills in the region processed 578.6 million tons of sugarcane, up 2.86 percent when compared to the same period of the previous harvest.

As of the end of 2019, UNICA said 253 units had ended harvest activities, compared to 267 that had completed the harvest by the end of 2018. During the final half of December, 31 units produced ethanol. This includes 21 that produced sugarcane ethanol, 5 that produced corn ethanol, and five that produced ethanol from both feedstocks.

Only 137.28 million liters (36.27 million gallons) of ethanol was produced during the second half of December, including 84.52 million liters of hydrous ethanol and 52.76 million liters of anhydrous ethanol. Approximately 90.38 million liters, or 66 percent, of the ethanol produced during the two week period was made from corn.

Since the beginning of the current season, mills in the region have produced 32.11 billion liters of ethanol, including 9.85 billion liters of anhydrous ethanol and 22.26 billion liters of hydrous ethanol. Of that total volume, corn ethanol accounted for 1.05 billion liters, up 104.03 percent when compared to the same period of 2018.

Ethanol sales by units in the south-central region reached 2.67 billion liters in December, including 120.64 million liters that were destined for export, and 2.55 billion liters that were sold domestically. The volume of anhydrous ethanol sold into the domestic market reached 681.86 million liters, with the volume of hydrous ethanol at 1.87 billion liters, up 4.91 percent when compared to December 2018.