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Brazil Sugarcane Crop Seen at Record on Humidity, Datagro Says

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Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Sugarcane growers in Brazil’s Center South, the world’s largest producing region, are set to reap a record crop, exceeding previous forecasts, as soil humidity helps plants withstand dry weather, Datagro Ltd. said.

The region’s sugarcane producers will harvest between 580 million and 590 million metric tons in the crop year that starts April 1, the research firm’s president, Plinio Nastari, said. That compares with a previous estimate of as much as 575 million tons on Oct. 15.

“High soil moisture helped the crops, including the newly replanted fields, to go through the dry period in December,” Nastari said today in a telephone interview from Barueri, Brazil. “Now mills are just waiting for crops to finish maturing to start the harvest.”

December rainfall in Sao Paulo state, which produces 60 percent of the country’s sugar, was 21 percent lower than the 30-year average for the month, he said. Soil humidity is high because of showers between May and September, Nastari said.

The region’s production in the 2012-13 season ending March 31 is forecast at 535.7 million tons of sugarcane, 34.3 million tons of sugar and 21.38 billion liters (5.64 billion gallons) of ethanol, Nastari said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lucia Kassai in Sao Paulo at lkassai@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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