UNICA: Increased production, sales of ethanol continue

By Erin Voegele | January 04, 2019

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has announced that a significant number of sugarcane processing mills have closed for the season. Increased sales and production of ethanol, however, continued in early December.

According to UNICA, mills in the south-central region of Brazil processed 12.6 million tons of sugarcane during the first half of September. Since the beginning of the current season, which began in April, mills in the region have processed 556.85 million tons of sugarcane, down 4.1 percent when compared to the same period of the previous year.

UNICA estimates that 72 mills closed harvest activities during the first half of December, bringing the total number of units that have closed for the season to 205. At the same point in the previous season, 215 mills had ceased harvest activities.

During the first half of December, 71.3 percent of the sugarcane processed went to ethanol production. From the beginning of the current season through Dec. 16, 64.44 percent of the sugarcane processed has gone to ethanol production.

Sugar production reached 408,300 tons during the first half of December, down 20.1 percent when compared to the same period of 2017. Since the beginning of the current season, sugar production has reached 26.17 million tons, down 26.72 percent when compared to the same period of 2017.

Ethanol production reached 681.5 million liters (180.03 million gallons) during the first half of December, up 26.72 percent when compared to the same period of last year. Production for the two-week period included 601.4 million liters of hydrous ethanol and 80.1 million liters of anhydrous ethanol.

Since the beginning of the current season, ethanol production has reached 29.77 billion liters, up 18.93 percent when compared to the same period of the previous harvest. Production included 20.71 billion liters of hydrous ethanol and 9.06 million liters of anhydrous ethanol.

Mills in the south-central region of Brazil sold 1.38 billion liters of ethanol during the first half of December, including 1.32 billion liters sold domestically and 65.74 million liters destined for export. Domestic sales of hydrous ethanol reached 987 million liters during the two-week period, up 32.21 percent when compared to the same period of last year.

Since the beginning of the current harvest, mills in the region have sold 21.81 billion liters of ethanol, up 16.87 percent when compared to the same period of the previous season. Sales included 20.63 billion liters sold domestically and 1.18 billion liters destined for export.