The prices of hydrous fuel ethanol in Center-South Brazil, the country’s main sugarcane producing region, surged to a new record high last week, according to energy information provider Platts.
Ex-mill prices in the region were assessed by Platts at BRL 1,950 (USD 513/EUR 478) per cu m last Tuesday, 7% higher than a week before and 47% above year-ago levels. Prices have jumped by 26% since late September.
The spike reflects the rise in ex-refinery gasoline prices in late September and a smaller number of offers in the spot markets due to stockbuilding by producers for the inter-crop season. Recent rains in the area are also impeding the harvest.
At the same time, distributors are surprised by the continued strong demand and are having difficulty forming stocks, Platts said. According to data from Brazil's National Petroleum Agency (ANP), cited by the firm, the country’s consumption of hydrous ethanol registered a third monthly record in a row of 1.63 billion litres (430.6 million gallons) in September.
There are concerns that the supply of hydrous could be insufficient to meet the ongoing strong rate of demand, Platts said.
In Brazil, hydrous ethanol is used in flex-fuel vehicles as a standalone fuel, or E100.
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