Brazil centre-south ethanol output, sales continue to fall

11 October 2011 22:48  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil's centre-south ethanol production in the April-October period fell by 16.3%, a decline that was accompanied by an even larger drop in sales of the biofuel, sugarcane industry group Unica said on Tuesday.

Ethanol output for 1 April-1 October totalled 17.0bn litres, down from 20.3bn litres in the comparable 2010 months, according to fresh data from the Brazilian group.

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.

Centre-south mills sold 11.0bn litres of ethanol in April-October, a year-on-year reduction of 17.3%, Unica said.

The figure includes ethanol exports from the region, which fell by 10.1% to 1.1bn litres in the period.

The drop in ethanol production in the centre-south stems from a reduction in sugarcane output, which in April-October dropped by nearly 8% from a year earlier to 412m tonnes, the group said.

Unica in previous crop updates blamed poor weather conditions for the smaller centre-south sugarcane crop in 2011.

The sugarcane harvest in the area runs from April to November/December, but Unica said some 20 mills have already halted production this year, at least a month ahead of schedule.

Brazil also produces ethanol in its northeastern region, where the sugarcane harvest runs from September to March.

The drop in ethanol output so far this year has forced Brazil to import ethanol from the US, which, in previous years, was the top export market for the Brazilian biofuel.

For more on ethanol visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: William Lemos
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