14 January 2009 17:35 [Source: ICIS news]
The figure refers to production in Brazil’s centre-south region, which accounts for about 85% of the country’s ethanol output.
Unica released data starting in April because that is when the sugarcane harvest begins in the centre-south.
Unica said centre-south mills in April-December processed 496.7m tonnes of sugarcane, a 15.5% increase from 430.1m tonnes one year earlier.
The association said total harvest figures for the 2008-09 crop year will be slightly higher because some mills continued to operate in early January.
Centre-south mills used 60% of the sugarcane processed in April-December to make ethanol. The remainder was used in sugar production.
In 2007-08, ethanol took 56% of the sugarcane produced in the region, Unica said.
Brazil also produces ethanol in the northeast part of the country, but plants in that region operate from September to March.
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