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Freezing weather reduces Brazil’s sugar crop estimate

Wednesday, August 31st 2011 - 08:40 UTC
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Sugar production is estimated at 37.1 million tons Sugar production is estimated at 37.1 million tons

Sugar output in Brazil, the world’s largest producer and exporter, will unexpectedly fall this year after freezing weather pared crop yields, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.

Sugar production will drop to 37.1 million metric tons this year from 38.2 million in 2010, the ministry’s crop-forecasting agency, known as Conab, said in an e-mailed statement. That compares with a May 10 forecast that output would increase to 40.9 million tons.

Plantations in Brazil, which accounts for more than half of global sugar exports, have been harmed by freezing temperatures this year following a drought last year.

Brazil will produce 588.9 million tons of sugar cane this year, 8.3% less than a previous estimate of 642 million tons, Conab said. The forecast for ethanol output was cut to 23.7 billion litres, from 27.1 billion litres projected in May. Brazil produced 623.9 million tons of cane and 27.6 billion litres of ethanol last year.

Brazilian cane growers are renovating 911,162 hectares of aging cane fields, Conab said. That compares with a previous estimate of 810,860 hectares. Growers don’t have enough cash to renovate all of the 1.4 million hectares that require replanting, Conab said.

Categories: Agriculture, Economy, Brazil.

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