Unica sees slow rebound for Brazil ethanol industry – VIDEO

23 March 2010 18:25  [Source: ICIS news]

SAO PAULO (ICIS new)--The Brazilian ethanol industry is slowly recovering from a “problematic year” in 2009, when production was impacted by the financial crisis and inclement weather in the country's main sugarcane-producing region, industry association Unica said on Tuesday.

“Our industry was very touched by the financial crisis... lots of consolidation [is] happening now,” said Unica president Marcos Jank on the sidelines of FO Licht’s Sugar and Ethanol Brazil 2010 (see video below).

Unica estimates some 4bn litres of ethanol were lost as a result of the financial crisis and the wet weather in the centre-south, the area that accounts for 90% of Brazil's ethanol production.

Centre-south ethanol output in 2009-2010 totalled 23.3bn litres, down by 6.6% from 24.9bn litres in the previous crop year, according Unica data.

The association expects production to increase at a slow pace in 2010-2011, but Jank said it is too soon to give a specific projection because Unica is still receiving estimates from producers and the government.

Unica plans to release its forecast at the end of this month.

The group renewed its call for the US to eliminate its tariff on Brazilian ethanol, while also advocating for an end to Brazilian duties on the biofuel.

“We believe that ethanol should be a global trading commodity,” Jank said.

The US tariff on imported ethanol made no sense if the US is serious about reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, he contended.

Sugarcane ethanol such as that produced in Brazil in particular is helpful in GHG reduction and it is also cheaper than corn ethanol, according to the official.

Brazil does not intend to replace US ethanol production with Brazilian output, he said.

“This will never happen,” Jank said.

The 2010 Sugar and Ethanol Brazil 2010 conference opened on Tuesday. The event was organised in partnership with IBC Brasil.


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By: William Lemos
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