Brazil: Corn Ethanol Production Booms in Brazil
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Plentiful, and generally cheap, corn supplies in Brazil’s Center-West region have enticed investment in the corn ethanol sector over the last few years. The Brazilian Corn Ethanol Union (UNEM) estimates that the sector will produce about 2.5 billion liters of corn-based ethanol in market year 2020/21. There are currently 16 corn ethanol plants in Brazil, located in the Center-West states of Mato Grosso, Goias, and Mato Grosso do Sul. At least four units are corn-only plants, while the rest are flex plants that produce ethanol form both sugarcane and corn. Industry sources report at least seven other corn-based ethanol plants in the planning, development, or construction stage, which could come on line in the next two years. If all the ongoing projects are built as planned, Brazil's corn ethanol production could top 5.5 billion liters per year, consuming more than 13 million metric tons of corn annually.