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Sugar output in Brazil’s Center South, the world’s largest producing region, dropped 35 percent in the second half of April as mills delay the start of crushing after prices plummeted.
Output declined to 389,400 metric tons between April 16 and April 30, from 603,500 tons a year earlier, industry association Unica said in an e-mailed statement today. The current crop year started April 1.
Sugar has slumped 26 percent in the past nine months amid rising supplies from Brazil and India. Delaying processing of the current crop allows cane plants to increase the concentration of sucrose, the substance that’s converted into sweetener and ethanol, while mills wait for prices to rebound.
Mills in the Center South, where about 90 percent of the country’s sugar and ethanol is produced, processed 9.24 million tons of cane in the period, down from 17 million a year ago. Ethanol production fell 44 percent to 364.3 million liters (96 million gallons).
Mills processed about 40 percent of the cane into sugar, compared with 36 percent a year earlier. The rest was turned into ethanol.
The Center South’s sugar output will rise 5.8 percent to 33.1 million tons this crop year, Unica said April 12. Cane production will increase 3.2 percent to 509 million tons.
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