Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar cane processing in Brazil’s Center South, the country’s main producing region, may have dropped 11 percent in the first half of this month, Newedge Group SA said, citing estimates from unidentified traders.
Cane output may have been 23.2 million metric tons in the first 15 days of October, Michael McDougall, senior vice president of commodities at the brokerage’s New York office, wrote in a report yesterday. That compares with 26.096 million tons in the same period last year, according to data from industry group Unica.
Sugar production was probably 1.77 million tons for the same period, McDougall wrote. Output was 1.5 million tons in the first 15 days of October last year, Unica data show.
“Mills have really switched to sugar because of a smaller crop and higher prices for the sweetener,” McDougall said by phone from New York today. Mills in Brazil can produce both sugar and ethanol from sugar cane.
The sugar production forecast for the Center South was cut yesterday by Datagro Ltd., a Sao Paulo-based research company, to 30.1 million tons for the 2011-12 season from a previous estimate of 30.6 million tons.
Unica is set to release its estimates for Brazil’s and the Center South’s sugar production in the first 15 days of October at 2 p.m. in Sao Paulo.
--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, John Deane
To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at Ialmeida3@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at Ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.