(Corrects timeframe in second paragraph.)
Sugar-cane crushing in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state will start later this season due to limited availability of the raw material, according to Cepea.
Harvesting probably will begin in the second half of April, the University of Sao Paulo research group said in a report e- mailed yesterday, citing its own survey. Farmers usually start gathering the crop at the end of March or beginning of April, according to Cepea analyst Heloisa Lee Burnquist. Brazil is the world’s largest sugar producer and Sao Paulo state is located in the Center-South region, the country’s main growing area.
Sugar-cane output in the Center South fell for the first time in a decade in the 2011-12 season after dry weather, frost, flowering and advanced age of the cane fields cut yields, according to industry group Unica.
“Since 2010, weather conditions have been affecting the quality of the sugar cane, which can also jeopardize the sugar yield this year,” Burnquist wrote.
Exports of sugar from Brazil extended their profitability over domestic sales last week, Cepea data show. Shipments were more than 11 percent more profitable than sales in the domestic market in the week ended March 23, up from 8.4 percent the previous seven days, according to the report.
Domestic sales were 34 percent more profitable last week than anhydrous ethanol, the type blended into gasoline, and 35 percent more advantageous than sales of the hydrous kind, used in flex-fuel cars, Cepea said. Both ethanol and sugar are made from sugar cane in Brazil.
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.