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Mills in Brazil’s centre-south region crushed 38.63 million metric tonnes of sugarcane in the first half of May, down 9.71% in comparison with the same fortnight of 2018/19, according to data by industry association UNICA, reports Sugaronline.
UNICA says that 236 mills were operating by May 15, in relation to 248 at the same time last year. The industry association expects other 11 mills to start activities for the season by the end of this month.
The quality of the sugarcane processed in the first half of May measured by Total Recoverable Sugars had a 6.7% reduction, reaching 119.65 kg per tonne in 2019 against 128.24 kilograms in the same fortnight of 2018.
From April 1 to May 15, the sugarcane crushed in the region totaled 84.15 million tonnes, an 18.27% decrease year-on-year. About 32.29% of the raw material was used for sugar production, less than the 35.15% at the same time last year.
Sugar production reached 1.59 million tonnes in the first 15 days of May, down 16.34% from the same time in 2018. Ethanol production decreased by 14.28%, to 1.78 billion litres (560 million litres of anhydrous and 1.22 billion of hydrous).
Corn ethanol production reached 49.91 million litres in the first half of May, totaling 150.55 million litres in the 2019/20 season (+67.02%).
Sugar output from April 1 to May 15 was 2.97 million tonnes, down 28.43%, and ethanol production decreased by 17%, to 4.01 billion litres (954 million of anhydrous and 3.06 billion of hydrous).
Ethanol sales by sugarcane mills in the centre-south totaled 1.32 billion litres in the first half of May, up 15.89% year-on-year. Sales of hydrous ethanol continued to increase in the domestic market, reaching 934.72 million litres, the largest volume ever recorded for the first half of May and up 21.53% from the same period in 2018.
Anhydrous ethanol sales in the domestic market increased by 16.35% to 382.36 million litres in the first half of May, due to a rise in sales to Brazil’s north-northeast region.
Ethanol sales since the start of the season in April reached 3.83 billion litres, of which 3.77 billion were sold domestically.