Rain Seen by Somar Disrupting Brazil Area’s Sugar Cane Harvest

Above-average and frequent rainfall in the second quarter is set to disrupt harvesting of this year’s sugar cane crop in Brazil’s center south, the country’s main growing region, according to Somar Meteorologia.

Wet weather will be constant and rain may be about 30 percent above the historical average from April to June, according to Celso Oliveira, a meteorologist at the Sao Paulo- based weather forecaster. About 6 percent of the mills in the region have already started harvesting and most of them are expected to begin the season next month, Oliveira said.

“For April, May and June, the frequency of rains will be more than reasonable for cane and this will disrupt harvesting,” Oliveira said by phone from Sao Paulo yesterday. “We cannot see 30 consecutive days of dry weather.”

The sugar cane crop in Brazil’s center south will be 587 million metric tons in 2013-14, according to researcher Datagro Ltd. That’s up from 532.3 million tons a year earlier. Sugar output in the region may be 34 million to 36 million tons, estimates Deutsche Bank AG, which on March 8 recommended buying the earliest dated raw sugar futures partly due to a potential delay to the start of the harvest due to wet weather.

Rain in the center south states of Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso and Goias will exceed 150 millimeters (5.9 inches) in the next 15 days, double the normal, Somar’s Oliveira said. In Sao Paulo, the biggest growing state, rain will total 70 millimeters in the same period, near the historical average, he said. Less rain will fall in the states of Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul and will stop after March 29 and last until at least April 2, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isis Almeida in London at Ialmeida3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at Ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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