South-Central Brazil mills crush 493.49 million tons of sugarcane from beginning of 2011/2012 harvest to Feb. 1, down 11.4% year-over-year, Unica says; anhydrous ethanol production up 5.4% to 7.81 billion liters

SAO PAULO , February 15, 2012 (press release) – Ethanol sales by mills in the South-Central region totaled 1.29 billion liters in January, a drop of 32.32% compared to the 1.90 billion liters sold during the same period in 2011. Of this year's total for January, 1.24 billion liters remained in the domestic market and only 42.44 million liters were exported.

January anhydrous ethanol sales totaled 483.91 million liters, down from 584.38 million liters during the same period of last year. As for hydrous ethanol, 760.40 million liters were sold during the month, down sharply from 1.23 billion liters during the same period of the 2010/2011 harvest.

The drop in anhydrous ethanol sales is the result of a cut in the amount of ethanol blended with gasoline which went into effect in 2011, according to the Technical Director at the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), Antonio de Padua Rodrigues. "If the blend level had remained at 25%, sales in January 2012 would have been greater than in January of 2011, " he added.

Overall sales of anhydrous ethanol in South-Central Brazil from April 2011 to February 1st of this year reached 6.72 billion liters. Of that, 647.19 million liters were exported while 6.07 billion liters remained in the country for domestic use. The total number is up 8.16% over the same period of the previous harvest. It should be highlighted that domestic anhydrous ethanol sales figures include the volume imported by producers and non-producers.

As for hydrous ethanol, overall sales reached 10.82 billion liters by February 1st, a drop of 31.63% compared to the same period in the 2010/2011 harvest (15.83 billion liters). Of the total sold since the beginning of the current harvest, 1.04 billion liters were exported and 9.79 billion liters went to domestic use.

Sugarcane Crushing

From the beginning of the 2011/2012 harvest to February 1st, 2012, mills in the South-Central region crushed a total of 493.49 million tons of sugarcane, down 11.39% from the 556.95 million tons processed at the end of the entire 2010/2011 harvest. It is important to remember that these numbers incorporate the production of the state of Tocantins.

During the second half of January, only 476.64 thousand tons of sugarcane were processed by eight producing units that continued their operations - two in the state of Espírito Santo, three in Mato Grosso do Sul, one in Mato Grosso and two in Minas Gerais.

Sugar and Ethanol Production

Overall sugar production from the beginning of the harvest to February 1st of this year totaled 31.24 million tons, down from the 33.50 million tons reached at the end of the last harvest - a reduction of 6.76%.

In the same period, hydrous ethanol production reached 12.80 billion liters, a drop of 28.79% compared to the 17.97 billion liters produced at the end of the 2010/2011 harvest. As for anhydrous ethanol, production was up 5.37% compared to the total at the end of the previous harvest: by February 1st of this year, 7.81 billion liters were produced, compared to 7.41 billion liters at the end of the last harvest.

From the beginning of the harvest to February 1st of this year, producers in the South-Central region imported 836.43 million liters of ethanol, increasing the supply of the renewable fuel in the domestic market.

According to UNICA's Rodrigues, "ethanol prices during this off-season are reflecting the levels of demand and supply of the product stockpiled by mills, and stocks this year are higher than during last year's interharvest period."
Bi-Weekly bulletin - 2011 / 2012 Sugarcane Harvest in South-Central Brazil, position on October 16, 2011.

ABOUT HARVEST DATA: The data released in this harvest update was compiled and analyzed by UNICA, with figures provided by the following syndicates and associations of producers from the South-Central states:

ALCOPAR - Association of Producers of Ethanol and Sugar in the State of Paraná
BIOSUL- Association of Bioenergy Producers of Mato Grosso do Sul
SIAMIG- Syndicate of Sugar and Ethanol Industries in the State of Minas Gerais
SIFAEG- Syndicate of Fabrication of Ethanol Producers of the State of Goiás
SINDAAF- Fluminense Syndicate of Sugar and Ethanol Producers
SINDALCOOL- Syndicate of Sugar and Ethanol Industry of Mato Grosso
SUDES- Society of Plants and Distilleries of the State of Espirito Santo

ABOUT UNICA: The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) represents the top producers of sugar and ethanol in the country's South-Central region, especially the state of Sao Paulo, which accounts for about 60% of the country's sugarcane harvest and of total ethanol production. UNICA develops position papers, statistics and specific research in support of Brazil's sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity sectors. In 2010, Brazil produced an estimated 620 million metric tons of sugarcane, which yielded 38.1 million tons of sugar and 27.4 billion liters of ethanol, making it the number-one sugarcane grower and sugar producer in the world and the second-largest ethanol producer on the planet, behind the United States.

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