Sao Paulo, 24 October (Argus) — Brazilian sugar and ethanol consulting firm Datagro further reduced its forecast for ethanol production for the 2011-12 crop year, saying the crucial center-south region's output would be nearly 3pc less than previously projected.
Production in Brazil's center-south region accounts for 90pc of the country's ethanol output, and it now expected to reach 19.89bn l of biofuel production, down from the September forecast of 20.48bn l.
The region will produce 12.12bn l of hydrous ethanol and 7.77bn l of anhydrous ethanol, Datagro said. Hydrous ethanol is sold at the pump to Brazil's growing fleet of flex-fuel vehicles.
If these figures come to pass, the center-south's ethanol output will be lower by more than 20pc compared to the 2010-11 harvest when the region produced 25.38bn l of ethanol.
Datagro blamed the decline in output on poor climate coupled with a lack of investment in planting new cane.
Most center-south mills are expected to finish harvesting by mid-November. Roughly 52pc of total cane output went to ethanol production, compared to 55.3pc in the 2010/11 center-south harvest, the firm said.
Datagro expects the 2012-13 crop to get under way later than in previous years due to bad climatic conditions.
Datagro also said that Brazil should have sufficient carry-over stocks to supply the domestic market thru May 2012. This is due mainly to the decline in ethanol consumption in Brazil because of higher ethanol prices at the pump. The firm expects Brazil to import 1.66bn l of ethanol in the 2011-12 season.
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