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Record sugarcane crush in Center-South Brazil likely

Staff writer |
The amount of sugarcane crushed in second-half April in Center-South Brazil is expected to reach a record for the period at 36.3 million tons.

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This is up 10.5% from H1 April and up 33.8% from the same period last season, according to INTL FCStone estimates.

INTL FCStone said total cane crushed in H1 April surprised when it reached a record for the period, whereas the increase in the number of mills in operation in H2 April should be sufficient to increase crushing further.

Official production figures are expected to be released by industry association UNICA, according to Kingsman, the analytical unit of S&P Global Platts.

The 2016-17 sugarcane season started April 1 in the key Center-South region, the largest sugarcane region in the world.

"The weather in H2 April was not so conducive for harvesting, but the rains have led to stops no more than two days, and in some regions the rainfall was not enough to paralyze crushing activities," said Joao Paulo Botelho, market analyst at INTL FCStone.

Although it rained, the average ATR -- total recoverable sugar -- is expected to grow 6.6 kg/mt from same period last year to 118 kg/mt of cane.

The ratio of sugarcane directed to sugar production in H2 April is expected at 42%, up from nearly 34.7% during the same time last season. The balance of the cane, or 58%, is expected to be used to produce ethanol.

INTL FCStone forecasts sugar production at 1.7 million mt in H2 April, up 62.8% from same period in the 2015-16 campaign.

Hydrous ethanol production is expected to reach 979 million liters, up 19% year on year, while anhydrous output is expected to reach 482 million liters, up 51%.

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