January 7, 2011

Brazil to Produce a Record Sugar Crop in 2010/11

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

In their latest report, Conab estimates that the 2010/11 Brazilian sugarcane production will set a new record at 625 million tons, which is 3.4% more than the 2009/10 production. Brazil will produce 38.7 million tons of sugar in 2010/11, which is 17% more than the 33.0 million tons produced in 2009/10. Brazil's internal demand for sugar is expected to be 11.1 million tons including direct consumption and food products.

The average sugarcane tonnage per hectare in Brazil fell 4.6% in 2010/11 due to the extended dry season that occurred between April and November, but the sugarcane that was processed in 2010/11 contained a higher amount of Total Recoverable Sugars, which resulted in higher sugar and ethanol production. The sugarcane harvest has now ended in southern Brazil and it will resume in late March or early April, but the harvest will continue in northern and northeastern Brazil.

Of all the sugarcane harvested nationwide, 53.8% was processed into 27.7 billion liters of ethanol. The total includes 19.6 billion liters of hydrous ethanol, which is sold as E100, and 8.1 billion liters of anhydrous ethanol which is used as a 25% blend in regular gasoline. The remaining 46.2% of the sugarcane was processed into sugar products, which is approximately 1% more than last year.

Total sugarcane acreage in Brazil is estimated at 8.0 million hectares, which is 8.4% more than last year. The state of Sao Paulo with 4.4 million hectares of sugarcane is the leading producing state responsible for 54.3% of the total acreage in Brazil. The state of Minas Gerais is in second position with 695,000 hectares followed by Goias at 599,000 hectares, Parana at 582,000 hectares, Alagoas at 438,000 hectares, Mato Grosso do Sul at 396,000 hectares, and Pernambuco at 346,000 hectares. The states of Alagoas and Pernambuco are located in northeastern Brazil.

In order to compile the data for this report, Conab sent out 42 technicians who visited 411 sugar/ethanol mills as well as cooperatives and other sugar related industries