UNICA: Ethanol production up nearly 2 percent in 2017-2018 season

By Erin Voegele | April 23, 2018

UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has released final data for the 2017-2018 harvest, which ended March 31. The data shows ethanol production was up despite lower volumes of sugarcane processing.  

According to UNICA, mills in the south-central region of Brazil processed 596.31 million tons of sugarcane during the 2017-2018 harvest season, down 1.78 percent when compared to the previous season.

The data shows final production of ethanol reached 26.09 billion liters (6.89 billion gallons), up 1.72 percent when compared to the previous season. This includes 10.42 billion liters of anhydrous ethanol and 15.67 billion liters of hydrous ethanol. Hydrous ethanol production was up 4.49 percent when compared to the 2016-2017 harvest.

UNICA also noted that 521.58 million liters of the ethanol produced was from corn, up 123 percent when compared to the 2016-2017 harvest.

Sugar production reached 36.05 million tons, up 1.21 percent when compared to the previous harvest season.

During the second half of March, 7.76 million tons of sugarcane was processed. Ethanol production reached 428.7 million liters during the two-week period. According to UNICA, the volume of anhydrous ethanol converted to hydrous ethanol reached 72 million liters, while corn ethanol production reached 31.35 million liters.

Ethanol sales for the full 2017-2018 harvest period reached 26.41 billion liters, up 1.71 percent when compared to the 2016-2017 season. Of the 26.41 billion liters sold, 1.51 billion liters were destined for export with 24.9 billion liters sold domestically.

In the domestic market, the volume of hydrous ethanol sold reached 14.46 billion liters, up 7.88 percent when compared to the previous harvest season.

UNICA’s data for March shows ethanol sales reached 2.23 billion liters, with 19.02 million liters destined for export and 2.15 billion liters sold domestically. In the domestic market, March sales of anhydrous ethanol reached 773.41 million liters, with hydrous sales reaching 1.38 billion liters.