The Brazilian crop agency, Conab, has increased the country’s sugarcane production in the current year
to 665.105 million tons. This is very close to the record of 665.6 million tons harvested in 2015/16. Compared to last season, growth is forecast at 3.5%.
The estimate is from the third survey of the 2020/21 sugarcane harvest, released on Tuesday by the National Supply Company (Conab). Of the total cane, 53.8% should be used to produce 29.8 billion liters of biofuel, while sugar will absorb 46.2% of the current harvest, and should generate 41.8 million tons of sugar.
Sugarcane production varies depending on the climate in each region. In the Southeast, the main producing region in the country, the increase in production should be of the order of 5.2%, reaching 436.4 million tons.
São Paulo and Minas Gerais are the highlights of the region. The Midwest should produce 0.5% less, totaling 139.8 million tons; the South should have a reduction of 2.7%, with the harvest estimated at 34.5 million tons.
The Northeast, favored by the climate, should increase the supply of sugarcane by 3.6%, which would reach 50.9 million tons. The North, responsible for less than 1% of national production, should increase by 2.2%, with its production rising to 3.6 million tons.
Covid-19 cuts bioethanol output
The Conab newsletter highlights the production of sugarcane derivatives and also the generation of corn ethanol. The total production of ethanol, from sugarcane and corn, should reach 32.8 billion liters, which will represent a 7.9% decrease compared to the previous harvest.
Sugarcane ethanol is expected to fall by 12.3%, limited to 29.8 billion liters, while corn ethanol is expected to grow 80.3%, reaching 3 billion liters.
The generation of anhydrous sugarcane ethanol, used in the mixture with gasoline, is expected to decrease by 5.6%, reaching 9.5 billion liters, while corn anhydrous is estimated at 932.9 million liters, with 130.2% more than that produced in the previous harvest.
For sugarcane hydrated ethanol, the production estimate is 20.3 billion liters, with a reduction of 15.1%, and for corn hydrate, 2.1 billion liters, an increase of 64.4% over the 2019/20 season.
Sugar exports have been elevated since the beginning of the year. From April to November, there was an increase of 79.2% compared to the same period last year. The current 23.7 million metric tons already shipped exceed by 25% the total for the entire past harvest (Apr / 19 to Mar / 20). The expectation is that the 2016/17 record will be surpassed, when Brazil exported 28.3 million tons.
External sales of ethanol increased by 49.2% in comparison with the same period of the previous harvest, approaching 2.2 billion liters. Imports from April to November decreased by 65.1%, reaching just 306 million liters. The justification is the devaluation of the real against the dollar, despite a 14.3% reduction in biofuel production and domestic consumption, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.