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Brazil CS sugar output down 15 pct from yr ago

BRASILIA – Sugar production in Brazil’s center-south reached 11.9 million tonnes from the start of the season to July 16, down 15 percent from a year ago, cane industry association Unica said on Tuesday.

Sugar production has been steadily catching up with the 2010 season which started exceptionally early. At the start of July, cumulative sugar production was 19 percent lower than a year earlier.

Ethanol output since the start of the season totaled 8.7 billion liters, down 20 percent from the 10.9 billion liters produced by this time last year.

In the first half of July, the center south produced 2.58 million tonnes of sugar, up 2.6 percent from the 2.51 million tonnes produced in the same period in 2010.

That early start last year and frequent rain from February through mid-April this year means the sugar crush has been lagging last season’s progress, but dry weather since May has helped this crop’s harvesting to start to catch up.

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