Brazil Sugar Mills Shutting for Season, Earliest in 12 Years

By Lucia Kassai – Oct 10, 2011
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-10/brazil-state-sugar-mills-start-shutting-for-season-on-small-crop.html

Sugar mills in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state, which accounts for more than half the nation’s cane output, started shutting for the season in late September, the earliest in 12 years, because of a smaller crop.

Mills began shutting down about 30 to 40 days earlier than expected when the harvest started in April as domestic output this year falls for the first time in six years, Celso Junqueira Franco, president of the Union of Biofuel Producers, known as Udop, said today in a telephone interview from Ribeirao Preto, Brazil.

“This is a very early end of the season,” Junqueira said. “Most mills will shut down by the end of this month.”

Brazil is the world’s largest producer and exporter of sugar. Latin America’s largest economy will produce 588.9 million tons of sugar cane this year, down from last year’s 623.9 million tons, the country’s crop-forecasting agency Conab said Sept. 5.

Raw sugar for March delivery rose 1.12 cents, or 4.5 percent, to settle at 26.28 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York today. Prices have fallen 18 percent this year.

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