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May 12, 2020

Corn will Account for 8.4% of Brazil's Ethanol According to Conab

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

In their first evaluation of the 2020/21 sugar/ethanol production in Brazil released on May 5th, Conab indicated that Brazilian producers would put more emphasis on sugar production this season at the expense of ethanol production. They estimated that Brazil would produce 35.3 million tons of sugar in 2020/21, which is an increase of 18.5% compared to last year.

Ethanol production in 2020/21 was estimated at 32 billion liters, which represents a reduction of 10.3% compared to last year. Ethanol produced from sugarcane was estimated at 29.3 billion liters, which is a decline of 13.9% compared to last year. Ethanol produced from corn was estimated at 2.7 billion liters, which is an increase of 61.1% compared to last year. If these estimates verify, ethanol produced from corn would represent 8.4% of Brazil's total ethanol production in 2020/21.

The reduced ethanol production is the result of reduced demand and lower prices caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the low oil prices resulting from the dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia on crude oil production.

Conab estimated that Brazil would harvest 630.7 million tons of sugarcane in 2020/21, which is down 1.9% compared to 2019/20. Southeastern Brazil, which includes the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, will account for 64.4% of the sugarcane harvested with the center-west region (Mato Grosso, Goias, and Mato Grosso do Sul) accounting for 22.0%, southern Brazil 5.2%, northeastern Brazil 7.6%, and northern Brazil 0.5%.

The sugarcane/ethanol production year in Brazil starts on April 1st and end on March 31st.