Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply, Roberto Rodrigues, said that he will examine the availability of funds for the installation of 73 new sugar mills between now and 2012, in order to raise the country’s alcohol production.
Rodrigues participated in Monday’s, January 23, meeting of the Sugar and Alcohol Sectorial Chamber.
According to Rodrigues, it will be necessary to increase the area of sugar cane cultivation by around 2.5 million hectares to meet the demand for sugar and ethanol.
The Minister believes that fuel consumption will grow in Brazil, due to the demand for flex cars, which can burn both gasoline and alcohol fuel, and the reduction in world sugar supplies.
“If this increase in demand for flex cars does in fact occur, eight years from now we will need another 12 billion liters of ethanol,” he said, adding that ethanol is a strategic product for Brazil.
The minister ruled out the need for Brazil to import alcohol in consequence of the rise in prices since the beginning of the year.
He said that the government expects the lower sugar mill prices provided for in the agreement signed with producers early in the month to be passed along to consumers.