Commodities

Brazil's sugar production, cane crushing falls more than expected

Credit: REUTERS/MARCELO TEIXEIRA

Brazilian mills crushed only 19.69 million tonnes of sugarcane in the first half of October in the center-south, 46% less than a year ago, as rains hampered activities and companies end the 2021/22 season earlier due to lower cane volumes.

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SAO PAULO/NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Brazilian mills crushed only 19.69 million tonnes of sugarcane in the first half of October in the center-south, 46% less than a year ago, as rains hampered activities and companies end the 2021/22 season earlier due to lower cane volumes.

According to industry group Unica, sugar production in the period was at 1.14 million tonnes, 56% less than a year ago. Ethanol production was 1.23 billion liters, 40% less, Unica said on Tuesday.

Low production numbers for the first half of October were already expected in the market, but Unica numbers were below estimates.

A survey by financial information provider S&P Global Platts indicated analysts had been expecting sugar production at 1.36 million tonnes and cane crush at 22.1 million tonnes.

The market had also expected a higher allocation of cane to sugar production, at nearly 43%, than seen in the Unica report.

Unica said mills earmarked only 39% of cane to sugar in the first half of October versus 45% seen last year, as mills switch to more ethanol production due to record local prices for the biofuel.

The industry group said 67 mills have finished crushing for the season, reporting an average fall of 22% on crushing volumes.

(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and Roberto Samora; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

((marcelo.teixeira@tr.com; +1 332 220 8062; Reuters Messaging: marcelo.teixeira.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net - https://twitter.com/tx_marcelo))

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