Bloomberg News

Sugar Production to Reach Record in Brazil as Crops Expand

November 25, 2011

(Adds sugar price in fifth paragraph.)

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar output in Brazil’s Center South, the world’s largest producing region, will jump to a record next year as crops expand and recover from a drought, the head of the country’s largest sugar trading group said.

Output will rise to 34 million metric tons next year, Luis Pogetti, chairman of the Copersucar SA trading cooperative that accounts for 10 percent of global sugar exports, said in an interview in Sao Paulo Nov. 21. This year mills in the region produced 30.8 million tons, industry group Unica said Nov. 1. Copersucar is a member of Unica, which will release its first forecast for next year’s crop on Dec. 13.

Growers in the Center South, which produces about 90 percent of Brazil’s sugar and ethanol, are renewing and expanding cane crops after freezing weather this year damaged plants that had also been harmed by drought in previous harvests. Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer, is the source of about 54 percent of global exports of the sweetener, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We have seen not only an increase in planting but also replanting,” Pogetti said. “I don’t understand why people have been so pessimistic about the size of next year’s crop.”

Sugar has dropped 9 percent in New York this month on expectation India, the world’s second-largest producer, will allow additional exports next month. Raw sugar for March delivery slid 1 percent to 23.21 cents a pound by 9:27 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices touched 23.16 cents, the lowest level since June 2.

Sugar-Cane Harvest

Growers in Brazil’s Center South will harvest 540 million tons of sugar cane next year, he said. That compares with 488.5 million tons this year, according to Unica. He said ethanol production will rise to 23 billion liters, up from 20.4 billion estimated by Unica for this year.

Crop research firm Datagro said Nov. 21 it estimates growers in the Center-South will produce between 460 million and 515 million tons next year. Lausanne, Switzerland-based brokerage and researcher Kingsman SA said they will harvest between 500 million and 530 million tons Nov. 21.

--Editors: Carlos Caminada, Robin Saponar

To contact the reporter on this story: Lucia Kassai in Sao Paulo at lkassai@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net


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