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Brazil Sugar Output Drops 6.8% in Center South Through Feb. 1

Sugar output in Brazil’s Center South, the world’s largest producing region, fell 6.8 percent in the current crop after most harvesting had been completed, industry association Unica said.

Output declined to 31.2 million metric tons through Feb. 1 from 33.5 million tons a year earlier, Sao Paulo-based Unica said in an e-mailed statement today. The current crop year ends on March 31. The volumes were little-changed from those reported previously because most of the region’s sugar cane was harvested and processed between April and December.

Crops in the Center South, which produces about 90 percent of Brazil’s sugar and ethanol, were damaged by freezing weather last year and by drought in previous harvests. Brazil produces about half of global sugar exports.

Growers in the region harvested 493.5 million tons of sugar cane through Feb. 1, down 11 percent from a year earlier, Unica said.

Ethanol output fell 19 percent to 20.6 billion liters (5.4 billion gallons) in the period.

Mills turned 48.3 percent of the sugar cane into sweetener and the rest into ethanol. That compares with 44.9 percent processed into sugar a year earlier.

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