UNICA: Hydrous ethanol production sets new record

By Erin Voegele | September 18, 2019

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has announced ethanol production was up more than 10 percent during the second half of August, with hydrous ethanol production setting a new record. Corn ethanol production, however, was down from the previous month.

According to UNICA, mills in the South Central region of Brazil processed 47.82 million tons of sugarcane during the second half of August, up 9.86 percent when compared to the same period of last year. For the full month, 90.52 million tons of sugarcane was processed, flat with July, but up from August 2018.

Since the beginning of the current harvest season, which began April 1, approximately 398.29 million of sugarcane has been processed, up 1.15 percent when compared to the same period of 2018.

An estimated 63 percent of sugarcane processed went to ethanol production during the second half of August, compared to 62 percent during the same period of 2018. Approximately 64 percent of the sugarcane processed has gone to ethanol production so far this season, up slightly since the same period of last year.

Ethanol production was up by more than 10 percent for the second half of August, driven primarily by increased production of hydrous ethanol, which reached 1.93 billion liters (509.85 million gallons), setting a new record.

UNICA said that despite the new record, accumulated hydrous ethanol production since April 1 has remained stable when compared to the same period of last year. As of the end of August, 14.29 billion liters of hydrous ethanol had been produced during the current season, compared to 14.24 billion liters during the same period of 2018.

Approximately 298.92 million liters of anhydrous ethanol was produced during the second half of August, bringing the total since the beginning of the current harvest season to 6.33 billion liters.

Only 26.46 million liters of corn ethanol was produced during the second half of August, up slightly from the same period of last year, but well below the average volume of 48 million liters averaged per two-week period for the current harvest season.

Ethanol sales by mills in the south-central region reached 3.08 billion liters in August, up 5.09 percent from July and up 3.85 percent when compared to the same period of last year. Of the volume sold in August, 2.79 billion liters was sold domestically, with 288.39 million liters destined for export. Domestically, anhydrous ethanol sales reached 815.29 million liters, with 419.08 million liters of that volume sold during the second half of the month. Domestic hydrous ethanol sales reached 1.97 billion liters for August, nearly flat with the same period of last year, with 1.02 billion liters of that volume sold during the second half of the month.