Brazil's ethanol output decreased in favor of sugar production
(Reuters) - Brazil's sugar production in 2023/24 (April-March) is expected to be its largest ever in a season, with export volumes of the sweetener hitting a record high, consultancy Job Economia said in a report published on Thursday.
Brazil's total sugar output, from all producing regions, was estimated at 42.7 million metric tons, 2.3 million tons more than Job Economia's initial estimate and compared to 37 million tons in 2022/23, as the weather has been near perfect this season for crop growth and processing.
"So far so good for the season, very good," said Julio Maria Borges, managing partner at Job Economia. The consultancy upgraded its projections for sugarcane processing and sugar production for both the Centre-South and Northeast regions in Brazil.
It sees exports reaching a record high of 32.2 million tons in the season, 2.4 million tons more than its previous estimate and compared to 27.1 million tons in 2022/23.
"That will account for around 50% of the global trade of sugar," Borges said.
The rise in Brazil's projected production and exports of the sweetener coincides with weather problems in sugar-producing rivals India and Thailand, which are expected to have only limited amounts to export.
Mills in Brazil are allocating a near record amount of sugarcane to make sugar, and less so to produce ethanol, as the prices for the sweetener are higher.
Job Economia projected total ethanol output at 32.9 billion liters, 600 million liters less than initially expected. Brazil produced 31.2 billion liters in the past season.
The corn-based share of the fuel, however, is seen growing 25% this season to 5.5 billion liters. It already accounts for 20% of the country's total ethanol production, which in the past was entirely made from sugarcane.