Brazil's production of ethanol grew approximately 20% in the current crop, and sugarcane production increased at an average of 11% per year in the last five years. The information was supplied by the secretary of Production and Agroenergy at Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Manoel Bertone.
According to him, the increase is explained mostly by sales of flex-fuel vehicles, which represent 90% of all new automobiles manufactured in Brazil.
The sugar and alcohol sector is restructuring itself so as to cater to the expansion of global ethanol and biodiesel markets. "For the time being, the factor that determines the growth of supply is still the domestic market," said Bertone.
According to him, domestic demand for alcohol should rise even further in 2008 and sugar prices should recover in the international market, which should favor the segment.
He states that 2008 should also see entry into operation of 20 new plants that will predominantly produce alcohol. Production of hydrated alcohol hit a record high this year, surpassing 12 billion liters and absorbing the 50 million additional tons of cane in the current crop, estimated in 480 million tons.
The year of 2008 should also see the conclusion of the Agro-Ecological Zoning of Sugarcane (ZaeCana), which will provide the foundation for public policies and the organization of sugarcane expansion in the country.
"Brazil will show that its policy revolves around sustainability and reaffirm its leadership in global ethanol production," says the secretary.