Brazil Sugarcane Harvest Strong

Joanna Schroeder

Brazilian sugarcane harvestThe volume of cane sugar produced by mills in the South-Central region of Brazil reached 46.34 million tons in the first 15 days of August, up 4.72 percent compared to value recorded in the same half of the previous year (44.25 million tons). Since the harvest began, crushing has totaled 315.10 million tons, an increase of 20.68 percent compared to the same period in 2012. However, this amount remains below the 338.08 million tons recorded in the same period of 2010/2011 season – at which plants located in the Center-South processed 556.95 million tons at the end of that season.

According to the Technical Director of the Union of Industry Cana-de-Açúcar (UNICA), Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, “The number of days lost in this first half of August was very low, a fact that allowed the production units operating near capacity production of this crop.”

In relation to agricultural productivity, according to data compiled by the Center for Sugarcane Technology (CTC), this totaled 86.50 tons of cane sugar per hectare in the first half of August. Of the total amount of cane sugar ground in the first half of August, 47.76 percent has been allocated to the production of sugar.

“The recent change in the exchange rate promoted a recovery in sugar prices in reais and changed the attractiveness of the product compared to ethanol,” said Rodrigues who noted this has not caused a drastic change in product mix in favor of sugar. “This is because the flexibility of production facilities is limited in this harvest period characterized by more grinding and ATR, ie, when industries work closely with its manufacturing capacity,”

Ethanol production reached 1.95 billion liters in the first 15 days of August, with 1.10 billion liters of hydrous and 858.23 million liters of anhydrous ethanol. The manufacture of sugar, in turn, totaled 2.91 million tonnes against 3.03 million tonnes registered in the same half of 2012.

The volume of ethanol produced totaled 13.29 billion liters accumulated in the beginning of the season 2013/2014 until the first half of August. Of this amount, 7.76 billion liters is hydrous ethanol (growth of 23.75% over the same period last year) and 5,530,000,000 liters of anhydrous ethanol (higher than the production of 3690000000 liters observed in the 2012/2013 harvest).

brazil sugar millIn the first half of August, ethanol sales by mills in the South-Central region totaled 1.13 billion liters, compared to 945.25 million liters recorded in the same period last year. Of this volume, 146.76 million liters is allocated to exports and 983.44 million liters is allocated for the domestic market.

In the domestic market, the sales volume of anhydrous ethanol totaled 424.91 million liters, an increase of 45.73 percent compared to the same half of 2012. Domestic sales of hydrous ethanol reached 558.53 million liters, compared to 484.45 million liters in the same period of the season 2012/2013 and 662.26 million liters observed in the last half of July.

“Despite the slight decrease observed in hydrous ethanol sales to the domestic market that fortnight, there was no change in the final demand of the product, which remains strong,” said Rodrigues. “This small decline was expected, since the first half of August accounts one day less delivery and there is a movement characteristic of lower product recall in the plants at the beginning of the month.”

The expectation, according to Rodrigues, is that the outputs of hydrous ethanol for the domestic market in the last half of August could exceed those recorded in the same period the previous month.

Between April 1 until August 16, the volume of ethanol sold by the South Central region totaled 9.64 billion liters, compared to 7.61 billion liters in the same period of 2012. Exports accounted for 1.40 billion liters of this volume, while domestic sales totaled 8.24 billion liters (up 25.77% over the amount recorded in the same period of 2012/2013 harvest).

Brazil, Ethanol, International