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UPDATE 1-Brazil produces record amount of sugar in the 2nd half of July
August 11, 2017 / 5:56 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil produces record amount of sugar in the 2nd half of July

 (Adds details on mills operations, Unica comment, outlook for
harvest progress)
    SAO PAULO, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Brazil's center-south region
produced 3.41 million tonnes of sugar in the second half of
July, the most for a 15-day period, as very dry weather allowed
mills to work around the clock in the world's largest cane belt.
    Sugar production in the period surpassed the previous record
in the second half of August 2012, according to cane industry
group Unica. Mills crushed 50.73 million tonnes of cane in the
second half of July, also an all-time high for a two-week
period, Unica said.
    The numbers, despite the records, were in line with market
expectations, including the production mix that remains very
heavy on sugar compared to ethanol.
    Mills allocated 50.33 percent of the cane to sugar
production in the second half of July, versus 48.05 percent a
year earlier. That sugar mix is one of the highest on record. In
the last 10 years, for example, mills have never earmarked more
than 50 percent of the cane to sugar production considering the
whole crop.
    The extremely dry weather, despite the processing boost, is
starting to worry some mills, Unica said.
    "This weather should reduce agricultural yields for the
areas that are going to be harvested later in the crop year,"
the industry group said.
    Agricultural research think-tank Cepea/Esalq, from the
University of Sao Paulo, said this week that some producers were
already expecting an early end to the harvest and a larger
inter-crop period.
    But Cosan SA Indústria e Comércio           , a partner in
the world's largest sugar producer Raízen, said in an earnings
call on Thursday that this was unlikely. It said it expected to
process cane normally through December.          

 (Reporting by José Roberto Gomes and Marcelo Teixeira; Editing
by Richard Chang)
  

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