Brazil ethanol production rises 3.6% in 2012 to 21.3bn litres

10 January 2013 20:26  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil's ethanol production rose by 3.6% to 21.3bn litres in the 2012-2013 crop year amid a larger sugarcane harvest, industry association Unica said on Thursday.

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

The centre-south sugarcane harvest runs from April to November/December.

Unica said centre-south sugarcane production in the 2012-2013 crop year totalled 531.4m tonnes, a 7.7% increase from 493.2m tonnes in the previous year.

The figure is in line with the latest projection by Unica, which in December revised its production forecast, predicting that centre-south mills would have crushed around 532.0m tonnes of sugarcane by the time the harvest year ends in March.

The revised figure is up from a 518.5m tonne forecast in September and a 509.0m tonne projection last April.

Unica attributed the increase in its forecast to unusually dry weather at the end of 2012, saying the dry climate had allowed some mills to remain operational and increase production in the final weeks of the year.

The latest figures from Unica are virtually the final numbers for the 2012-2013 crop year, the Brazilian group said, adding that only 10 sugarcane mills were in operational in the centre-south.

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

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By: William Lemos
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