Amyris joins Bonsucro, the leading sustainability standard for sugarcane

March 11, 2013

Amyris, Inc., 03/11/2013

Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMRS), a leading renewable chemicals company, announced today it has joined Bonsucro, the world’s leading sugarcane sustainability standard. Amyris is the first advanced biofuels and chemicals company of its kind to join Bonsucro, paving the way for certification of Amyris’s renewable products.

“Amyris is committed to delivering No Compromise® renewable products that enable sustainable growth for our customers. Bonsucro has emerged as a respected certification standard for sugarcane products, and membership paves the way for assuring our growing and diverse customer base of the sustainability of our supply chain,” said Joel Velasco, Amyris’s Senior Vice President.

“With our certification system recognized under the European Commission’s Renewable Energy Directive and the 26 Bonsucro-certified sugarcane mills in Brazil, Bonsucro certified volumes are set to grow. We welcome Amyris’s leadership to broaden the scope of second-generation renewable products that could be certified under Bonsucro,” said Nick Goodall, Bonsucro’s Chief Executive Officer.

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Worst drought in decades hits Brazil’s northeast

January 4, 2013

Caroline Stauffer – Reuters, 01/04/2013

Brazil’s Northeast is suffering its worst drought in decades, threatening hydro-power supplies in an area prone to blackouts and potentially slowing economic growth in one of the country’s emerging agricultural frontiers.

Lack of rain has hurt corn and cotton crops, left cattle and goats to starve to death in dry pastures and wiped some 30 percent off sugar cane production in the region responsible for 10 percent of Brazil’s cane output.

Thousands of subsistence farmers have seen their livelihoods wither away in recent months as animal carcasses lie abandoned in some areas that have seen almost no rain in two years.

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Brazil said to plan higher ethanol blend as early as May

December 18, 2012

Mario Segio Lima – Bloomberg, 12/18/2012

Brazil, the world’s biggest sugar- cane grower, is considering raising the amount of ethanol mixed with gasoline as early as May as millers are forecast to process a record crop next year, a government official familiar with the plan said.

The mandatory ethanol blend in fuel sold at Brazilian service stations would rise to 25 percent from 20 percent now, said the official, who asked not to be named because he’s not authorized to discuss the plan publicly. Mills in the country process most of the sugar-cane crop into sweetener and fuel between April and November.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), Brazil’s state-run oil producer, has been importing gasoline and selling it below cost this year after fuel demand in the world’s second-largest emerging economy exceeded domestic supplies. Brazil lowered the ethanol blend to 20 percent from 25 percent in October 2011 after rainfall delayed sugar-cane harvesting and reduced crop yields.

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Brazil to produce more sugar, less ethanol

December 13, 2012

AFP, 12/13/2012

Brazil’s sugarcane production will rise 6.5 percent this year but ethanol output will slump 5.22 percent as a greater focus is put on exporting sugar, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.

Data from the national crop-forecasting agency Conab said sugarcane production in the world’s leading producer could reach 595.13 million tons during the 2012-2013 harvest, up from 560.36 million in 2011-2012.

“Improved weather conditions from the second half of the year in the main producing areas, such as the central-south, makes possible an increased volume of sugarcane for the milling season,” an official report said.

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Brazilian, U.S. firms to launch world’s largest biofuels marketer

November 6, 2012

EFE/Fox News Latino, 11/05/2012

Brazil’s Copersucar and U.S. company Eco-Energy announced Monday that they are linking their ethanol operations to create the largest biofuel marketer in the world.

The two firms together control 12 percent of the global market for ethanol, with a combined supply capacity of 2.6 billion gallons (10 billion liters) of biofuel per year, the partners said in a press release.

Brazil makes ethanol from sugar, while U.S. producers use corn as raw material.

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Push for ethanol sours in Brazil amid low sugar prices

May 14, 2012

Leslie Josephs – The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires, 05/13/2012

Sugar prices near 20-month lows have raised questions over Brazil’s future as a leader in both the sugar and ethanol industries.

The South American nation is the largest grower of sugar cane, which can be used to make sugar or ethanol from fermented sugar-cane juice. Its cane fields are growing old, and Brazil is grappling with how to reinvigorate them amid low prices and years of neglect in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

The industry is also trying to plot a course for ethanol production at a time when Brazil’s government—which determines how much ethanol is used in ethanol-gasoline blends and whose state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA,PBR -2.80% controls gasoline prices—is focusing attention on large offshore oil reserves.

Sugar-cane output estimate for Brazil region cut by Archer

April 30, 2012

Isis Almeida – Bloomberg, 04/30/2012

Sugar-cane output in the main growing region in Brazil, the world’s largest producer of the sweetener, will be lower than previously forecast for the season starting this month, according to Archer Consulting.

Cane production in center south will total 508 million metric tons in 2012-13, below the prior 512 million-ton estimate, Arnaldo Luiz Correa, a director at the Sao Paulo-based consultancy, said in a report e-mailed April 28. The estimate was Archer’s fourth for the crop. Production in 2011-12 was 493.3 million tons, according to industry group Unica.

Millers in the region will produce 32.51 million tons of sugar, above a previous forecast of 32.47 million tons, as more cane is used to make the sweetener rather than ethanol, according to Archer’s report. Sugar output in the region amounted to 31.3 million tons in 2011-12, Unica data show.

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Brazil’s sugar cane areas will get rain, Somar says

April 24, 2012

Isis Almeida – Bloomberg, 04/24/2012

Sugar cane-growing areas in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, will get rains this week, preventing the start of the new crop’s harvest, according to weather forecaster Somar Meteorologia.

Heavy rains will fall in the states of Parana and Sao Paulo from tomorrow to April 27, Marco Antonio dos Santos, an agronomist at the company in Sao Paulo, wrote in a report e- mailed yesterday. Rainfall may exceed 50 millimeters (2 inches) and will help soil moisture and plants, he said.

Wet weather over the weekend favored the development of recently planted sugar cane, according to the report. New crops were already smaller in size and inferior in quality because of dry weather earlier this year, dos Santos said.

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Brazil’s lower ethanol blend won’t cut gas prices, analyst says

August 31, 2011

Stephan Nielsen – Bloomberg, 08/31/2011

Brazil’s plans to cut the amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline may do little to lower the price of fuel at the pump, an analyst said.

The country will cut its ethanol blending rate to 20 percent by Oct. 1, from 25 percent now. The measure is aimed at ensuring there’s an adequate supply of the renewable fuel, which has increased 27 percent in price since June, Minister of Mines and Energy Edison Lobao said in a statement.

The plan won’t cut ethanol consumption enough to significantly drive down prices because bad weather is reducing sugar-cane production and the industry’s investment in new mills and plantations may not meet demand, said Salim Morsy, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance in New York.

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A Senseless Confrontation between Agriculture and Environment

December 8, 2009

Marcos Sawaya Jank, President and CEO of UNICA, the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association.

Originally published in O Estado de São Paulo, 12/02/09 (in Portuguese)

IIn Brazil, there is a growing senseless confrontation between agriculture and environment, due to successive and anachronic legal predicaments that ignore the evolution, interdependence and immense potential of these two national giants.

Brazilian environmental legislation is extremely advanced and more conservationist than many developed countries. Besides having the second largest forest reserve in the world, losing only to Russia, the Brazilian government, in the past decades, has significantly increased the number of protected areas, including parks, biological reserves and permanent preservation areas, such as riparian forests. The true challenge is to guarantee the preservation of current forest areas, while eliminating illegality by increasing supervision and clearly defining property rights. Read the rest of this entry »


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