Brazil ethanol output decreased by 16%

Mills in the main sugar belt in Brazil kept producing as much sugar as possible late in May, driving cumulative output of the sweetener so far in the season to a 65% growth from a year earlier, industry data showed on Friday.

It is reported by Reuters.

Brazilian mills produced 8 million tonnes of sugar in the first two months of the new crop, up from 4.8 million a year earlier, cane industry group Unica said.

Mills are allocating as much cane to sugar production as possible, slashing the amount diverted to ethanol production as sales of the biofuel still lag last year's volumes by 30% due to stay-at-home measures.

«Mills that used to produce ethanol are now in the sugar business and are interested in how fast they can cash in their volumes of sugar», — said Claudiu Covrig, a senior sugar analyst with Platts Analytics.

Sugar production in the second half of May reached 2.55 million tonnes, up 36% from a year earlier. Cane crush was at 42.2 million tonnes, 4.7% less (see tables below). Ethanol production fell 16% to 1.81 billion liters late in May, Unica said.

Sugar exports are also soaring. Unica said there was an increase of 65% on shipments considering the first two months of the crop, testing capacity of the main sugar port in Brazil.