Brazil ethanol exports drop 43% in 2010 - trade group

06 January 2011 16:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil’s ethanol exports slumped by around 43% in the 2010-2011 crop year, industry group Unica said on Thursday, following a sharp drop in shipments to the US.

Ethanol exports totalled 1.6bn litres (423m gal) in the period, down from 2.8bn litres in the 2009-2010 harvest, according to data from the Brazilian group.

The figure refers to shipments from Brazil’s centre-south region, which accounts for 90% of the country’s ethanol production and where most ethanol mills are represented by Unica.

The sugarcane harvest in the area usually runs from April to November/December.

The drop in centre-south exports was widely expected because of a closed arbitrage window with the US, the main importer of Brazilian ethanol in recent years.

Unica did not release a final figure for sugar exports, but in August the association predicted sugar exports would increase by nearly 9% to 23m tonnes in the 2010-2011 crop year.

The expected increase resulted from record high sugar prices in the international market.

Unica said centre-south sugar production totalled 33.4m tonnes between April and 15 December, a 19.7% increase from 27.9m tonnes in the same period of the previous year.

Brazil is the world’s top sugar producer and the leading exporter of ethanol.

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By: William Lemos
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