CS Brazil sugar production will decrease by 22% — Copersucar


Brazil's Copersucar, the world's largest sugar and ethanol seller, expects smaller sugar production in the Brazilian center-south region in the current season due to ageing cane fields and drier weather and sees a more positive outlook for sugar prices.

Copersucar expects total sugar production in the center-south in 2018/19 to be 28 million tonnes versus 36 million tonnes in the previous crop, company Chief Executive Paulo Roberto de Souza told. Total cane crush is seen at 555 million tonnes compared to 596 million tonnes previously.

The Brazilian company, which is in charge of selling sugar and ethanol produced by 35 associated center-south mills, closed the 2017/18 crop crushing 85 million tonnes of cane, 3 percent less than in the previous season. It expects to crush 83 million tonnes in the new crop (2018/19, April-March).

The firm said its net profit last season fell 42 percent to 147 million reais, affected by smaller gains from its joint sugar trading venture with Cargill CARG.UL, called Alvean.

Copersucar will increase ethanol production slightly from 4,3 billion liters in 2017/18 to 4,5 billion liters in the new season. Ethanol sales in Brazil currently give a financial return equivalent to a hypothetical sugar price of 16 cents per pound, Souza said.

He said he saw a more positive outlook for sugar prices.

He said there was heavy selling from producers in recent weeks when New York futures jumped and Brazil's currency fell. But that type of selling is less likely to happen in the future, which would take some pressure off prices.

«The market is starting to absorb the notion that there will be way less sugar from Brazil than thought», — he said.


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