Nov 26, 2021

2021/22 Sugarcane Production in South-Central Brazil Down 11.8%

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

The Brazilian Union of Sugarcane Industries (Unica) reported last week that during the first half of November, 75 sugar/ethanol facilities were operational compared to 114 facilities last November. This included 65 facilities that only process sugarcane, 2 flex facilities that can utilize sugarcane or corn, and 8 facilities that utilize only corn. Up until now, 187 sugarcane mills have closed for the season including 57 during the first half of November. The early end to the harvest season is due to a lack of sugarcane to process.

From the start of the harvest on April 1st until November 16th, there have been 516.9 million tons of sugarcane processed in south-central Brazil, which is down 11.8%. Up until November 16th, there have been 31.8 million tons of sugar produced which is down 15.4% compared to last year. The total ethanol production was 25.8 billion liters with 10.3 billion liters of anhydrous ethanol which is blended into gasoline (+14.7%) and 15.4 billion liters of hydrous ethanol which is sold as E100 (-19.8%). Of the total ethanol production, 2.1 billion liters have come from corn or 8.1%

The reduced production is due to a combination of reduced acreage and adverse weather. The 2021/22 sugarcane crop encountered a historic drought in mid-2021, a series of frosts/freezes in June and July resulting from some of the coldest temperatures in 25 years, and fires in some of the drought impacted fields that reduced production even further.

The state of Sao Paulo is Brazil's largest sugarcane producing state and 2021/22 has been a disappointing year. The sugarcane acreage in the state declined 5.4% in 2021/22 to 4.2 million hectares (10.3 million acres). Sugarcane production in the state of Sao Paulo declined 18.9% to 287.4 million tons or approximately 55% of Brazil's total sugarcane production. Some sugarcane producers in the state opted out of sugarcane in favor of more profitable crops such as soybeans or corn