23 March 2011 17:28 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil will receive around 200m litres (53m gal) of anhydrous ethanol, mostly from the US, over the next few weeks, market sources said on Wednesday, adding that the cargoes will help the country avoid a potential supply shortage.
Market sources said half of the shipments were headed to ?xml:namespace>
The other half would go the northeast region, which produces the remaining 10%.
“US imports should start arriving in 15 days…our inventories are critically low,” a centre-south producer said.
Brazilian ethanol prices soared to record highs in March, lifted by tight supply and unexpected strong demand, particularly for hydrous ethanol.
Hydrous ethanol prices were assessed on Wednesday at Brazilian reais (R) 1,950/m³ ($4.45/gal), up by 35% in the last four weeks.
The product now costs more than twice the R940/m³ assessed in the same week of 2010.
Anhydrous ethanol was offered on Wednesday at an unprecedented R2,000/m³, up by 42% from a range of R1,400-1,410/m³ in the week ended 23 February.
“Never seen anything like it before,” a seller in
Another source said the spike in recent weeks had surprised even industry veterans, who had expected hydrous ethanol demand to soften because the product was less competitive than gasoline in
The arrival of US imports in
The last time
The shipments of
Brazilian ethanol supply is expected to remain tight until late April, when supply from the next centre-south sugarcane harvest will begin to enter the market.
The area's sugarcane harvest runs from April to November-December.
Centre-south mills in 2010-2011 crushed 556.2m tonnes of sugarcane, an increase of 2.63% compared with the 2009-2010 harvest, according to sugarcane industry association Unica.
Ethanol production rose by 7% to 25.3bn litres in the same period, the association said.
Unica expects sugarcane production in 2011-2012 to be flat compared with the previous crop.
($1 = R1.66)
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