26 June 2012 21:47 [Source: ICIS news]
MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Widespread rains during the first few months of Brazil's centre-south sugarcane crush have slowed processing and hampered ethanol production, trade group Unica said on Tuesday.
Milling in the first two weeks of June totalled 25.91m tonnes, down 27.59% compared to the second two weeks of May and down 25.96% compared to the same period in 2011, Unica said.
Accumulated cane production from the beginning of harvest in April to 15 June totalled 96.61m tonnes, down from 135.44m tonnes in the same period in the 2011/12 harvest, Unica said.
Production of ethanol from April to 15 June stood at 3.61bn litres, down 32.6% compared with the same period last year, said Unica.
In the same period ethanol accounted for 54.4% of the sugarcane crush, down from 56.1%, Unica said.
Unica interim president Antonio de Padua Rodrigues said that the heavy rainfall should improve agricultural yields in the final third of this year’s harvest.
“However it does reduce current mill usage and lower sucrose levels in the cane,” he added.
Unica said that the 2012 rainfall in some sugarcane areas had doubled compared with the same period in 2011.
“We are monitoring the situation and will make an evaluation for the 2012/13 harvest at the end of July,” Rodrigues said.
Brazil’s centre-south sugar cane harvest runs from April to November/December.
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