July 12 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar output in Brazil’s center south, the world’s biggest producing region, slid 31 percent in the second half of this month, as rain has delayed harvest of the crop, industry group Unica said.
Output between June 16 and June 30 declined to 1.8 million metric tons from 2.6 million tons a year earlier, Sao Paulo-based Unica said in an e-mailed statement today. The current crop year started April 1.
Cane growers in the region, which produces about 90 percent of Brazil’s sugar and ethanol, harvested 31.7 million tons of cane in the period, down from 42.3 million tons a year earlier.
Mills turned about 47.8 percent of the cane into sugar in the second half of this month, down from 48.3 percent a year earlier. The rest was processed into fuel. Ethanol output fell 30 percent to 1.21 billion liters (319 million gallons).
Cane output in the region is expected to rise to between 500 million and 505 million tons in the current crop, from 490 million in the past season, Unica Chairman Pedro Parente said June 14.
Sugar production will increase 5.8 percent to 33.1 million tons, Unica said in an April 12 report.
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