USDA GAIN report provides outlook of Brazil's ethanol industry

By Erin Voegele | September 05, 2012

A recently published USDA Global Agricultural Information Network report addresses the Brazilian biofuel industry. The annual biofuel report, which was filed by Brazil’s Agricultural Trade Office in late August, includes an update of the country’s biofuel policies and programs and provides production, supply and demand estimates and forecasts for 2012 and 2013.

Regarding the level of ethanol blended into Brazil’s transportation fuel, the GAIN report noted that the blend level was dropped from 25 percent to 20 percent in 2011 due to a poor sugarcane crop and the lower ethanol production that resulted. According to the report, the current blend level of 20 percent is expected to remain unchanged until the beginning of the 2013/2014 crop year.

The Brail ATO also addresses fuel consumption levels in its annual report. The report shows that Brazil consumed approximately 22.16 billion liters (5.85 billion gallons) of ethanol in 2010. In 2011, the consumption level dropped to 19.29 billion liters. The relative consumption levels for 2012 and 2013 are projected to be 20 billion liters and 21.7 billion liters.

Brazil produced 27.97 billion liters of ethanol in 2010 and 22.89 billion liters of ethanol in 2011. The country is expected to produce 22.72 billion liters in 2012 and 25.5 billion liters in 2013.

Imports measured 76 million liters in 2010 and 1.14 billion liters in 2011. Brazil is expected to import 500 million liters of ethanol in 2012 and 700 million gallons in 2013. In 2010, the country exported 1.91 billion liters of ethanol. Exports increased slightly in 2011 to 1.96 billion liters. The projected export levels for 2012 and 2013 are 1.85 billion liters and 1.9 billion liters, respectively.

In 2010 only 67.6 percent of Brazil’s 41.36 billion liters of ethanol production capacity was utilized. In 2011, only 53.5 percent of the country’s 42.8 billion liters of capacity was in use. Production capacity is projected to remain steady at 4.8 billion liters in 2012 and 2013, with respective capacity utilization levels of 53.1 percent and 59 percent.

A fully copy of the report can be downloaded from the USDA website