Brazil’s center-south sugar and ethanol production in the second half of May beat expectations as total sugarcane crushing came in above market forecasts, data provided by industry group Unica showed on Friday.
Crushing totaled 43.69 million tonnes in the period, roughly stable from a year earlier but ahead of the 41.57 milliontonnes expected by analysts surveyed by financial information provider S&P Global Commodity Insights.
Sugar output reached 2.31 million tonnes, a 12.74% drop, while ethanol production was up 0.5% to 2.03 billion liters. Unica’s ethanol data also includes fuel made from corn.
This comes as producers kept their bets on ethanol amid high prices, with nearly 59.5% of crushing being allocated for the biofuel production in the period – more than the 57.6% expected.
Analysts had also estimated sugar production at 2.17 million tonnes and sugarcane-based ethanol output at 1.95 billion liters, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.
Unica noted that 248 mills operated in the period, up from 232 in early May and in line with the same period a year ago, with the majority of plants now running after picking up pace later than usual as they hoped for better yields in Brazil.