Brazil sugarcane crop down 4% year on year despite October gains

24 October 2012 21:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil's centre-south sugarcane production surged by 62% in the first half of October, but year-to-date production continued to lag the harvest of 2011, industry group Unica said on Wednesday.

The centre-south, which accounts for 90% of Brazil's ethanol production, crushed 419.35m tonnes of sugarcane from 1 April to 15 October, a 4.0% drop compared with the same period in 2011, Unica said in its latest crop update.

Sugarcane production for 1-15 October totaled 38.0m tonnes, up from 23.4m tonnes one year earlier.

Unica said the increase was only relatively high because production in the first half of October 2011 was impacted by heavy rainfall.

Centre-south sugarcane production is expected to reach 518.5m tonnes for the 2012 crop year, up from the 493.2m tonnes produced in 2011, according to a forecast by Unica.

A market source this week projected a slightly smaller increase, predicting production in the centre-south will rise to only 500m-510m tonnes.

The centre-south sugarcane harvest runs from April to November/December.

Unica said 13 centre-south sugarcane mills already have ceased production this year.

Brazil also produces ethanol in the northeast region of the country. The sugarcane harvest in that area runs from September to March.

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By: William Lemos
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