Brazil ethanol prices rise on limited supply, firm demand

30 November 2010 15:09  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil’s ethanol prices posted gains during the week ended 26 November because of continued firm demand and limited spot supply, research group CEPEA said on Tuesday.

CEPEA assessed anhydrous ethanol at Brazilian reais (R) 1.1933/litre ($2.61/gal), up by 0.4% from R1.1891/litre a week earlier.

Hydrous ethanol was assessed at R1.0404/litre, up by 4% from R1.0005/litre in the previous week.

CEPEA said hydrous ethanol demand remained strong even though the price of the biofuel was up and the product was becoming less competitive than gasoline in the flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) market.

Brazil uses hydrous ethanol as a stand-alone fuel in FFVs, competing directly against gasoline, while anhydrous ethanol is blended in gasoline at a mandated 25%.

Ethanol supply in Brazil remained limited, the group said, adding that spot availability was declining with the end of the sugarcane harvest in the key centre-south region.

The centre-south accounts for 90% of Brazil’s ethanol output. The harvest in the area usually runs from April to November.

Brazilian sugarcane industry association Unica on Monday estimated that 140 mills, or around 35% of centre-south capacity, would shut down production by the end of November.

CEPEA prices are ex-tank and do not include taxes.

($1 = R1.73)

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By: William Lemos
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