Brazil Mills Extend Cane Crushing Due to Rains; Focus on Fuel

November 13th, 2018


Category: Commentary, Sugar

( – Mills in Brazil’s center-south region will likely extend their crushing operations later into the year than previously expected as ample rains in the region cut the pace of processing, cane industry group Unica said in a report on Monday.

Plants remained keen on ethanol production despite recent gains in benchmark raw sugar prices in New York, the report showed, earmarking only 30 percent of the cane in the second half of October to sugar production, with the rest going to the biofuel.

Cane crush was only 24.85 million tonnes, 17 percent lower than the volume at this time a year earlier.

“The crushing fall happens due to the smaller availability of cane, along with higher precipitation in the main producing areas in the last weeks, which have made processing difficult,” said Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, Unica’s technical director.

With the rains, Unica said its earlier forecast for a swift end of the season had changed. Mills are likely to extend crushing since they are operating at a slower pace.

The industry group said 52 mills finished operations by the end of October, versus 53 at this time last year.

With higher humidity, sugar content fell 12 percent compared with the same period last year, which lead mills to continue to focus on ethanol. Production of the biofuel late in October was 1.4 billion liters. Sales of hydrous ethanol, the type used by drivers as a substitute for gasoline, topped 1 billion liters, the highest amount ever for a two-week period.

Below are figures from Unica’s crop report for the second half of October (cane and sugar in million tonnes, ethanol in billion liters, total recoverable sugar-TRS in kg per tonne):




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