Cepea, April 2, 2020 – The uncertain scenario in March – which lowered the demand for ethanol –, the beginning of the crushing season in some refineries from central-southern Brazil, and oil price drops most of the month sharply pressed down quotes for hydrous and anhydrous ethanol in the Brazilian market.
In the full weeks of March, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index for hydrous ethanol averaged 1.8093 BRL per liter (zero ICMS and PIS/Cofins), 14.8% lower than that in the full weeks of February. As regards anhydrous ethanol, the CEPEA/ESALQ Index averaged 2.0811 BRL/liter (zero PIS/Cofins), 8.5% down, in the same comparison.
Prices dropped daily in the last full week of March (23 – 27), mostly due to the beginning of crushing. According to data from Unica (Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association), until March 16, 43 refineries from central-southern BR had been in operation, 32 crushing sugarcane and 11, corn. Besides, demand was low in that period, which reduced the volume of hydrous ethanol traded to the lowest level since that in the cycle that ended on March 3, 2017.
There is currently much emphasis on ethanol sales for other purposes, for the production of alcohol gel by some processors in São Paulo and other Brazilian states. Entities that represent refineries have even donated ethanol for the production of alcohol gel and alcohol 70% to the public health system.
Between February 28 and March 31, the ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index for the hydrous ethanol delivered to Paulínia (SP) dropped by 35.5%, closing at 1,422.50 BRL/cubic meter (zero taxes) on March 31.