Crystal sugar sales in Brazil were on average 2 percent more profitable than exports last week, down from a 7 percent advantage the previous week as demand slowed, said Cepea, a University of Sao Paulo research group.
The price of crystal sugar, which accounts for 68 percent of all the sweetener sold within Brazil, fell 0.7 percent to 67.59 reais ($42.47) a 50-kilogram (110-pound) bag last week, data from Cepea compiled by Bloomberg showed.
“Purchasers are buying only when necessary,” Cepea analyst Heloisa Lee Burnquist, said in a report dated yesterday.
Prices fell in the domestic and international markets last week even as sugar cane output in Brazil’s main producing region dropped, Cepea said in the report, adding that the crop may be below 500 million metric tons. Brazil’s Center South cane production was 556.9 million tons last season, data from industry group Unica showed.
White, or refined sugar, fell 0.8 percent on NYSE Liffe in London last week, while the raw variety slid 2.4 percent on ICE Futures U.S. in New York in the same period.
Crystal sugar sales were 41 percent more profitable last week than anhydrous ethanol, the type blended into gasoline, and 54 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.
Crystal sugar has an International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis level of between 130 and 180, according to the Cepea website. A lower level corresponds to a higher degree of whiteness. Refined sugar futures traded on NYSE Liffe call for an ICUMSA level of 45.