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Center-South Brazil sugar production at 37.66 million mt, a spike of 44.46% on year: UNICA

Center-South Brazil produced 1.24 million mt of sugar in the first two weeks of November, with cumulative production since the start of the season on April 1 reaching 37.66 million mt a jump of 44.46%, or 11.59 million mt, year on year, according to data released Nov. 25 by industry association UNICA.

Sugar production in the first half of November was 9.52% above the average of market expectations in an S&P Global Platts survey published on Nov. 25, prior to the official numbers.

In the first half of November, 20.33 million mt of cane was harvested in CS Brazil, up 2.24% on the year, while the total since April 1 was 3.69% higher on year at 585.73 million mt.

S&P Global Platts Analytics estimates that 600 million mt of cane will be crushed in CS Brazil in the 2020-21 season, suggesting that 97.5% of the total sugarcane forecast has already been crushed.

Of the cane crushed in H1 November, 41.74% was used for sugar production, up from 28.42% a year earlier.

The big turning point in the 2020-21 CS crop was the volume of total recoverable sugar (ATR), which through Nov. 16 reached its highest historical point at 85.03 million mt until Nov. 16.

In the first two weeks of November, the ATR of cane crushed rose to 153.56 kg/mt from 146.88 kg/mt in the year-ago period. The cumulative ATR since April 1 reached 145.17 kg/mt, up 4.29% on year.

Since April, producers have been shifting more cane toward sugar production due to the premium paid for the sweetener on the export market to ethanol on the domestic market. Of the total cane crushed so far this season, 46.49% was used for sugar, up from 34.80% a year earlier.

Platts assessed hydrous ethanol converted in raw sugar equivalent at 11.82 cents/lb on Nov. 24, while the ICE NY11 sugar futures market settled at 15.04 cents/lb, pointing to an export premium of 3.22 cents/lb, or $70.99/mt, to domestic hydrous ethanol.

With the recent depreciation of the real, Brazilian sugar exports would receive a premium of roughly Real 382/mt compared with the spot ethanol market.

Total ethanol production in H1 November was 1.18 billion liters, down 9.58% on the year. Of this, 681 million liters were hydrous, 22.41% less year on year, and the balance of 499 million liters was anhydrous, up 16.77%.

UNICA technical director Antonio de Padua Rodrigues said this record-high anhydrous ethanol production in a two-week period underscores the producer’s efforts to prioritize the domestic supply during the intercrop season, from December to March.

Cumulative hydrous ethanol production since April 1 was 19.24 billion liters, a drop of 10.98% on year, while anhydrous production fell 3.57% to 9.04 billion liters.

Mills’ sales

Ethanol sales reported by CS Brazilian mills in H1 November came to 1.32 billion liters, of which 139 million liters were exported and the bulk, 1.18 billion liters, was sold on the domestic market.

Of these domestic sales, hydrous accounted for 790.79 million liters, down 17.26% on the year and anhydrous 394.55 million liters, up 2.18%.

Since the beginning of the 2020-21 crop through Nov. 16, ethanol sales by CS producers decreased 12.46%, totaling 19.05 billion liters. Of this total, exports increased 40.82%, totaling 1.94 billion liters, and domestic sales registered a drop of nearly 16%, with 17.10 billion liters.

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