Brazil center-south produces 1.13 million tonnes of sugar

Brazil’s main center-south cane belt produced 1.13 million tonnes of sugar in the second half of November compared with 1.37 million tonnes in the previous two-week period, as mills approached the end of the 2016/17 crushing season, sugar industry group Unica said on Wednesday.

Its data showed mills crushed 19.68 million tonnes of cane late in November versus 21.76 million tonnes earlier in the month. Unica said 165 mills have finished processing this year’s crop, compared with only 52 at this time last year, as drier conditions sped up harvesting.

Ethanol production fell sharply to 789 million liters in late November, from 920 million liters in the prior fortnight, as mills used the last part of the crop to maximise production of sugar, which pays a premium over the biofuel. Sugar production in the second half of November was nearly 61 percent above the volume reported in the same period last year.

Unica said sales of hydrous ethanol in the domestic market fell 15 percent in November compared with October. The group cited data from the Cane Technology Center showing low agricultural yields at this stage of the crop as a result of unfavourable weather earlier in the cycle. Yields in the field in November, measured by cane weight per hectare, came in 13 percent below what was seen in the same month last year.


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