Brazil's corn-based ethanol supply grows as firms add capacity -trade group


By Roberto Samora

SAO PAULO, March 7 (Reuters) - Brazil will produce six billion liters of corn ethanol in the 2023/2024 season that begins in April, an increase of 36.7% over last season, trade group Unem said on Tuesday.

The data confirms that Brazilian corn ethanol production, even in the face of an economic downturn during the pandemic and competition from the sugar-based alternative, grew and will continue to expand as society demands cleaner fuel alternatives.

According to Unem, corn ethanol is expected to account for 19% of all ethanol consumed in the country next season up from 13.7% in the current season.

In the current harvest ending this month, sugarcane ethanol production should reach 27 billion liters, Unem said in a statement.

"Even with all the adversities faced during the pandemic, reduced economic activity, tax policies and the electoral process, we should close the next harvest with growth of 1,053% compared to 2017," Guilherme Nolasco, CEO of Unem, was quoted as saying in the statement.

It now takes corn ethanol companies just 31 days to produce the volume they produced in the full year of 2017, he said.

Unem said it would present data on the production of biofuels and animal nutrition products to Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro.

(Reporting by Roberto Samora; writing by Ana Mano; editing by Jason Neely)

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