11 May 2012
Ethanol sales by mills in South-Central Brazil reached 717.89 million liters in the second half of April, a 13.60% increase compared to the same period last year. The increase is a consequence of a 46.17% rise in hydrous ethanol sales, which totalled 451.11 million liters. Meanwhile, anhydrous ethanol sales – the type that is blended with gasoline – reached 266.77 million liters, down 17.49% compared to the same period in 2011.
Of the total volume of anhydrous ethanol sales in the two-week period, 21.95 million liters were exported and 244.83 million liters went to the domestic market. Overall anhydrous ethanol sales in April totalled 522.24 million liters, of which 471.19 million liters remained in the domestic market, down 21.41% compared to the same month in 2011.
Domestic sales for hydrous ethanol reached 449.82 million liters in the second half of April, an increase of 48.62% compared to the same period in 2011. Overall hydrous ethanol sales for the month of April reached 847.56 million liters, a significant jump compared to the same month in 2011, when 510.38 million liters were sold. Hydrous ethanol exports for the month reached 18.51 million liters, for a combined total of 866.07 million liters in sales, a 64.62% increase compared to the same month in 2011.
According to Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, Technical Director and Interim President of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), “markets were much quieter during the last inter-harvest period compared to a year ago, without price spikes or volatility. We expect new commercialization policies in effect for the current harvest to further improve this scenario, with increased stability in coming years,” he added.
Mills in the South-Central Region crushed a total of 9.24 million tons of sugarcane in the second half of April, down 45.68% compared to the same period in 2011. Overall sugarcane crushing from the beginning of the harvest to May 1st totalled 13.98 million tons, down 41.77% from the 24 million tons processed in the same period last year.
According to Rodrigues, “the drop in sugarcane crushing during the second half of the month was expected because, as anticipated in UNICA’s last harvest update issued on May 3rd, rainfall at the end of April reduced the number of operating hours for those mills already up and running.” The low number of mills in operation also contributed to the drop in crushing volume, he explained.
Data compiled by UNICA indicates shows that as of May 1st, a total of 149 mills were in operation in South-Central Brazil, compared to 222 units during the same period of the previous harvest.
Quality of Raw Material
The quantity of Total Recoverable Sugars (ATR) per ton of harvested cane reached 105.74 kg in April, an increase of 5.73% compared to the same period in 2011. In the last 15 days of the month, the concentration of ATR per ton reached 110.74 kg, compared to 102.37 kg obtained in the same two-week period of the 2011/2012 harvest.
This increase follows earlier projections by UNICA for the “ATR cane” indicator, based on laboratory analysis of raw material samples collected when sugarcane is delivered to mills in the State of São Paulo. In the second half of April, this indicator was 4% higher than in the same period of 2011.
In the second half of April, 60.07% of the overall sugarcane crushed was allocated to the production of ethanol, a slightly lower proportion than the 63.64% observed in the same two-week period of 2011. Overall numbers since the beginning of the 2012/2013 harvest shows that this percentage now stands at 61.55%.
The total volume of ethanol produced from the beginning of the current harvest to May 1st reached 539.57 million liters, of which 74.98 million liters were anhydrous and 464.58 million liters were hydrous ethanol. Sugar production reached 541.50 thousand tons, a drop of 33.77% compared to the 817.57 thousand tons observed in the same period of last harvest.
Overall sugar production, considering only the second half of April, reached 389.42 thousand tons. In the same period, overall ethanol production reached 364.34 million liters, of which 308.04 million liters were hydrous and 56.30 million liters were anhydrous ethanol.
UNICA’s Rodrigues recalls that the rate of anhydrous ethanol blended with gasoline is a regulatory decision of the Federal Government, which continuously evaluates all variables related to available supplies for ethanol as well as other fuels, plus the trade balance of petroleum-based products, among other factors. “The sugarcane industry is only responsible for ensuring the availability of anhydrous ethanol in order to supply the market with any given mandatory blending rate,” he concluded.
The data released in this harvest update was compiled and analyzed by UNICA, with figures provided by the following syndicates and associations of producers from the South-Central states:
- ALCOPAR — Association of Producers of Ethanol and Sugar in the State of Paraná
- BIOSUL — Association of Bioenergy Producers of Mato Grosso do Sul
- SIAMIG — Syndicate of Ethanol Manufacturing Industry in the State of Minas Gerais
- SIFAEG — Syndicate of Ethanol Producers of the State of Goiás
- SINDAAF — Fluminense Syndicate of Sugar and Ethanol Producers
- SINDALCOOL — Syndicate of Sugar and Ethanol Industry of Mato Grosso
- SUDES — Society of Plants and Distilleries of the State of Espirito Santo