21 January 2011 18:16 [Source: ICIS news]
Most of the decline came at Maceio, where ethanol exports plunged 73% to only 4,389 tonnes, compared with 16,390 in December 2009, according to the Williams data.
At Latin America's largest port, Santos, ethanol shipments increased by 22% to 84,523 tonnes from 69,460 in the same month of 2009, according to the data.
Brazilian ethanol exports declined year-on-year in every month of 2010. But ethanol supply is expected to be tight early this year because there will be no production in the key centre-south region, and inventories are said to be barely enough to cover demand.
Tight market conditions have even prompted talk that Brazil could have to import ethanol if wet weather disrupts the start of the centre-south's next sugarcane harvest in April, sources said.
Six vessels accounted for 81% of December ethanol shipments, to Japan, South Korea, Europe, Nigeria, and the US. Japan and South Korea received 51% of the cargoes.
The Stolt Hill carried two large shipments totaling 23,676 tonnes, one to Houston and the other to Japan, according to the Williams data.
Williams is one of the largest shipping agencies in Brazil.
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