Brazil ethanol output drops 18.6% in six months

12 September 2011 22:22  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil ethanol production fell by 18.6% during the last six months on the back of an 11.0% reduction in sugarcane output, industry group Unica said on Monday.

Ethanol output for 1 April-1 September totalled 13.77bn litres, down from 16.92bn litres in the comparable 2010 months, according to new data from Unica.

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

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

Unica did not elaborate on the production drop, but in previous updates the group blamed poor weather conditions for a smaller sugarcane crop so far this year.

The centre-south produced 338.1m tonnes of sugarcane from 1 April-1 September, down from 380.1m tonnes a year earlier.

Unica in August cut its forecast for the 2011–2012 centre-south sugarcane crop by 4% to 510m tonnes, citing the impact from the weather in recent months.

The new projection, which is below Unica's previous forecast of 533m tonnes, represents an 8% reduction from the 557m tonnes produced in 2010-2011.

Brazil is the world's second-largest ethanol producer after the US, which has a nameplate capacity of 14.7bn gal (55.6bn litres), according to US ethanol group Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

For more on ethanol visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: William Lemos
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