July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar output in Brazil’s Center South, the world’s largest producing region, will fall for the first time in six years because of lower crop yields, Unica sugar-cane industry association said.
Brazil’s Center South will produce 32.4 million metric tons of sugar this year, 6.4 percent less than a March 31 estimate of 34.6 million tons, Sao Paulo-based Unica said today in an e- mailed statement. Last year, mills produced 33.5 million tons of the sweetener.
Sugar-cane output in the region fell to 533.5 million tons, from 568.5 million tons in the previous estimate. Ethanol output fell to 22.5 billion liters (5.9 billion gallons), or 12 percent less than the 25.5 billion liters previously expected.
Brazil is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of sugar. Latin America’s largest economy accounts for about 54 percent of global exports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Mills in the region will turn 46.9 percent of the cane into sugar, up from 45.6 percent in the March forecast. The rest is processed into ethanol.
Sugar output in the Center South rose to 2.58 million tons between June 16 and June 30, from 2.55 million tons a year ago, Unica said.
Farmers harvested 42.1 million tons of sugar-cane in the period, up from 41.8 million a year ago. Ethanol output dropped to 1.71 billion liters, from 1.86 billion liters.
Mills turned 48.3 percent of the crop into sugar in the second half of June, a gain from 45.8 percent a year ago, Unica said.
--Editors: Robin Saponar, Carlos Caminada
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