23 August 2012 23:42 [Source: ICIS news]
MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Brazil’s centre-south sugarcane and ethanol production increased in the first two weeks of August from the same period last year, an industry association said on Thursday.
However, accumulated production during this year’s harvest remained down, said Unica.
Sugarcane processing in the first two weeks of August totalled 44.25m tonnes, up 14.2% compared to the same fortnight in 2011, Unica said.
Ethanol production in the same period totalled 1.75bn litres, up 8.07% compared with the same period in 2011, the industry group said.
Ethanol sales in the first two weeks of August stood at 938m litres, down from the 980m litres sold in the same period last year.
Despite production increases in August, widespread rains during the first few months of Brazil's centre-south sugarcane crush slowed cane processing and hampered ethanol production.
Accumulated sugarcane processing from the beginning of this year’s harvest in April to 15 August totalled 261m tonnes, down by 37m tonnes from the same period last year, Unica said.
Accumulated ethanol production in the same period stood at 9.96bn litres, down 10% from the same period last year, the group said.
Ethanol sales from April to 15 August stood at 7.56bn litres, down 7.71% from the same period last year.
“The lack of rain favoured harvest operations in the first 15 days of August,” said Unica interim president Antonio de Padua Rodrigues.
“However, the bad weather at the beginning of this year’s harvest means accumulated production remains far below that recorded in the same period last year,” he said.
“Even if weather conditions remain stable, it’s unlikely we’ll recoup this loss,” Rodrigues warned.
Unica also pointed to the poorer quality of sugarcane in this year’s harvest, which will affect quantity of raw material available for ethanol production.
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