Brazil ethanol prices stable, production rises

28 January 2014 18:54 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Hydrous and anhydrous ethanol prices in Sao Paulo, Brazil, were largely stable compared with the preceding week but in low traded volumes, research group CEPEA said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a trade group's report showed that ethanol production rose in the first half of January from last year.

CEPEA assessed average hydrous ethanol prices for the week ended 24 January at Brazilian reais (R) 1.28376/litre ($2.01/gal) or 0.4% lower from the previous week. Anhydrous ethanol prices were assessed by CEPEA at 1.4672/litre, or 0.4% higher from the previous week.

According to CEPEA, the market “continues with low liquidity”. The association has earlier in the month reported that since some increase in trading activity occurred at the start of the month as distributors restocked on fuel following the holidays, ethanol trading has declined.

Meantime, sugar industry association Unica said that Brazilian ethanol production in the key center-south region increased in the first half of January from a year earlier as producers used more sugarcane output to produce ethanol versus sugar.

The centre south of Brazil is by far the most important sugar production region in the country. Ethanol is predominantly made from sugar in Brazil. Nearly all the sugarcane harvest-crush has been completed in this region and the season will not start again until April.

Production of hydrous ethanol in the key Brazilian centre-south region rose 87% to 34m litres during the first half of January compared with the same period a year earlier, Unica said. For the cumulative 2013/2014 harvest, production of hydrous ethanol in this area reached 14.4bn litres or 15.5% more than a year earlier, it added.

Production of anhydrous ethanol increased during the first half of January to 9m litres or a 19% increase from the same period last year. Cumulative anhydrous ethanol production for the 2013-2014 harvest was 11bn litres or a 25% increase.

During the first half of January sugarcane production in that same region rose to 659,000 tonnes or 22% from than in the same period last year. Sugar production in that same region fell 41% to 8,000 tonnes, which means an increasing proportion of sugarcane output was used to make ethanol versus sugar, the association said.

($1 = R2.42)
By Renzo Pipoli