29 November 2011 21:59 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil's centre-south ethanol output has dropped by nearly 17% this year, industry association Unica said on Tuesday, adding that the sugarcane harvest in the region will be virtually over later this week.
The centre-south accounts for 90% of Brazil's ethanol production. The sugarcane harvest in the region runs from April to November/December.
Unica expects fewer than 35 sugarcane mills to be in operation by the end of this week, down from around 150 units in mid-November.
Centre-south ethanol production from 1 April through 15 November totalled 19.99bn litres, down from 23.97bn litres in the same months a year earlier, Unica said in its latest crop update.
The amount of sugarcane processed by centre-south mills totalled 479.35m tonnes in the same period, the group said, adding that the figure represents a year-on-year reduction of 8.8% from 525.62m tonnes in the previous harvest.
Unica's latest forecast put centre-south production in the 2011-2012 harvest at 488.50m tonnes, which is down by 14% from an original 568.5m tonne estimate by the group at the beginning of the harvest in April.
The decline in production results from poor weather for crop development in the centre-south over the past two years.
Brazil also produces ethanol in its northeastern region, but the sugarcane harvest in the area runs from September to March.
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