BRAZIL: UNICA raises crop expectations but lowers sugar
Published: 09/20/2012, 5:25:37 PM
Brazilian sugarcane association UNICA raised its forecast for the key centre-south region's ongoing crop Thursday but slightly reduced its forecasts for sugar and ethanol production, according to Dow Jones.
UNICA said mills in the region should crush 518.5 million metric tonnes of cane in the current 2012/13 crop, most of which has already been harvested. The group's previous estimate, released in April, was for 509 million tonnes.
"The expansion in the volume of cane is the consequence mainly of the unexpected rains that occurred in the first months of the harvest," UNICA said in a statement.
But while the rains increased the amount of cane in the fields, they "severely impacted the quality of the sugarcane harvested," UNICA added.
The group trimmed its estimate for sugar production in the centre-south by 1.2% to 32.7 million tonnes, and cut its forecast for ethanol fuel output by 2% to 21.05 billion liters.
Brazil is the world's biggest sugar producer. The centre-south grows nearly 90% of the country's cane.
UNICA said centre-south Brazil should have 23.5 million tonnes of sugar available for export from the 2012/13 cane crop, down 2.1% from its previous estimate.
But the group raised by 50% its forecast for ethanol exports from the region, to 2.55 billion liters.