UNICA: Ethanol production begins to ramp up in late April

By Erin Voegele | May 19, 2022

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has reported that more mills began to process sugarcane and produce ethanol during the second half of April. Ethanol production and sales were down when compared to the same period of 2021.

Mills in the south-central region of Brazil processed 23.82 million tons of sugarcane during the second half of April, down 19.72 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 29.11 million tons of sugarcane, down 35.8 percent when compared to April 2021.

As of the end of April, UNICA reports that 180 mills in the south-central region were operational, down from 207 units that were processing sugarcane at the same time last year. An additional 57 units were expected to begin operations during the first half of May.

Mills in the region produced 1.49 billion liters (363.62 million gallons) of ethanol in April, down 26.85 percent when compared to the same period of last year. That volume includes 1.24 billion liters of hydrous ethanol, down 21.51 percent, and 242.91 million liters of anhydrous ethanol, down 45.77 percent.

Corn ethanol production for the second half of April was at 116.54 million liters, down 5.71 percent when compared to the same period of last year. For the full month of April, corn ethanol production was at 281 million liters, up 17.93 percent when compared to April 2021.

Mills in the south-central region sold 1.16 billion liters of ethanol during the second half of April, down 85 percent when compared to the same period of last year. For the full month, sales were at 2.22 billion liters, up 2.6 percent. Approximately 107.03 million liters of that volume was destined for export, up 56.87 percent.

Domestic sales of hydrous ethanol reached 1.37 billion liters in April, down 5.52 percent when compared to the same month of last year. Domestic sales of anhydrous ethanol reached 735.63 million liters, up 15.34 percent when compared to April 2021.

Sales of ethanol for non-fuel purposes was at 42.61 million liters in during the second half of April, up 19.64 percent. Sales of ethanol for non-fuel purposes reached 81.02 million liters for the full month, up 11.92 percent.