UNICA: Ethanol sales up, production down slightly from last year

By Erin Voegele | June 18, 2014

A recent industry updated issued by UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, indicates that ethanol production in the country’s south-central region totaled 1.601 billion liters (422.94 million gallons) during the second half of May. That volume of production is roughly equal amount produced during the same period of last year. Of that 1.601 billion liters, 722.21 million liters was anhydrous ethanol and 878.93 liters was hydrous ethanol.

From the start of the current season, ethanol production has totaled 4.84 billion liters, down slightly from the 4.88 billion liters produced during the same period of last year. Approximately 2.9 billion liters of that production has been hydrous ethanol, with 1.94 liters of anhydrous ethanol, a 10.63 percent increase over the same period of last year.

While ethanol production has held relatively steady, sugar production has fallen slightly. As of the end of May, sugar production for this season was 5.44 million tons, down from 5.64 million tons during the same period of 2013.

Ethanol sales totaled 2.13 billion liters in May, up 17.67 percent over April sales. Ethanol sales in Brazil’s domestic market equaled 1.95 billion liters in May, up from 1.64 billion liters in April. Export sales totaled 184.82 million liters in May. Domestic sales of anhydrous ethanol in May were 11.25 percent higher than the same month of 2013.

As of the close of May, UNICA reports that 260 sugarcane mills were in operation in the south-central region of Brazil, with eight of those mills beginning operations during the second half of May. By the end of May last year, 280 mills were operating.

From the beginning of this year’s season through the close of May, Brazil’s south-central region processed 117.5 million tons of sugarcane, approximately the same volume as last year. Sugarcane yields were down 8.84 percent in May when compared to last year, which UNICA attributes to dry weather conditions early in the year. Can quality is also down an estim