Prospects for the sugar and alcohol sector were discussed yesterday, September 2, in Brazil, by producers, politicians, and government representatives at the seminar “Brazil and Energy in the 21st Century: Sugar and Alcohol,” in the Ministry of Foreign Relations, in the capital BrasÀlia.
Brazil, which is the world’s largest producer of sugar cane, also hopes to lead in alcohol exports in 2005, availing itself of the potential opportunities made possible by acceptance of the Kyoto Protocol by the majority of the world’s countries.
The protocol, which is scheduled to go into effect on February 16, 2005, is an international treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries and, at the same time, encourage the adoption of a less polluting development model by developing countries.
This year, sugar and alcohol exports should earn Brazil around US$ 3 billion, 32% more than in 2003. In the case of alcohol alone, exports should amount to 2.2 billion liters.
According to figures released by Ambassador Mário Vilalva, director of the Ministry of Foreign Relations’ Department of Trade Promotion, Brazil is currently the world’s largest producer of sugar cane, 50% of which is used to manufacture ethanol.
He went on to say that the country has processed a large quantity of sugar cane: 357 million tons in the 2003/2004 harvest, yielding 28 million tons of sugar and 15 billion liters of alcohol.
During the seminar, the Secretary of Petroleum and Gas in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Maria das Graças Foster, informed that Brazil expects to attain self-sufficiency soon in petroleum, producing the equivalent of 2.2 million barrels per day in coming months.
According to her, this represents 200 thousand barrels a day more than the country needs.
“We are experiencing a moment of considerable satisfaction and great tranquillity, represented by our self-sufficiency in petroleum. We currently import something on the order of 200 thousand barrels a day,” she said.
Translator: David Silberstein