Brazil wholesale ethanol rises for seventh straight week
Wholesale ethanol prices in Sao Paulo state, Brazil’s largest fuel market, rose for the seventh consecutive time to Reais 1.2099/liter ($2.51/gal) on the week ended March 23, research institute CEPEA/ESALQ said Tuesday.
Prices rose over 12% since the week ended February 3, figures from the Piracicaba-based research group show.
Ethanol prices in Sao Paulo typically jump in the period from December through April, when production mills shut down completely for the sugarcane interharvest period.
In Brazil, ethanol can used as a standalone biofuel for owners of flex-fuel cars, which account for almost 50% of the country’s light vehicle fleet.
Prices for anhydrous ethanol, used for mandatory blending in gasoline, declined to Reais 1.2807/liter on the week ended March 23 from Reais 1.2924/liter on the previous week, CEPEA/ESALQ said.
The 2012-13 sugarcane harvest in Brazil’s center-south, which concentrates 90% of the country’s crop, is poised to start two weeks after than usual to allow for the development of sucrose in the cane.
According to analytical firm Agroconsult, the harvest is slated to begin on April 16.