UNICA reports record ethanol production for 2019-’20 season

By Erin Voegele | April 23, 2020

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, recently announced mills in the south-central region of the country produced a record volume of ethanol during the 2019-’20 harvest season, which began April 1, 2019, and ended March 31, 2020.

The total of 590.36 million tons of sugarcane was processed during the season, up nearly 3 percent when compared to the 218-’19 harvest season.

Only 34.32 percent of the sugarcane processed when to sugar production, the lowest percentage in the past 22 years.

Ethanol production reached a record 33.26 billion liters (8.79 billion gallons), including 9.95 billion liters of anhydrous ethanol and 23.32 billion liters of hydrous ethanol. The previous record was set during the 2018-’19 season at 30.95 billion liters.

UNICA said the seasonal volume includes 1.62 billion liters of corn ethanol, which also set a new record. Production of corn ethanol was up from 791.43 million liters during the 2018-’19 harvest season.

Only 7.02 million metric tons of sugarcane was processed during the final two weeks of March, with ethanol production at 439.13 million liters. Corn ethanol production was at 115.15 million liters.

Ethanol sales by production units in the south-central region of Brazil fell to 2.3 billion liters, including 2.15 billion liters sold domestically and 148.62 million liters destined for export. Total sales were down 12.94 percent when compared to the same month of last year.

During the 2019-’20 crop year, ethanol sales reached 33.26 billion liters, up 7.08 percent when compared to the previous season. Of that volume 31.35 billion liters were sold domestically, and 1.91 billion liters were destined for export. Exports were up 17 percent.

Domestically, sales of hydrous ethanol reached 22.35 billion liters, up 7.02 percent when compared to the 2018-’19 harvest season.