Sugar production in Brazil's Centre South cane belt will ease
slightly this season, as falling area in the top growing state of Sao Paulo
outweighs a shift toward sugar, and away ethanol, officials said.
In its first forecast for the 2017-18 season, the Brazilian
crop supply agency Conab forecast cane production in the Centre South to fall
by 2.4%, to 598m tonnes.
"Even taking into account better climatic conditions,
the fall in planted area in the main Centre South producing states will result
in a smaller cane production," Conab said.
Falling planted area
The fall in production was driven by a fall in planted area,
particularly in Sao Paolo.
Conab cited "the low renewal of crops, combined with last
year's climatic problems such as drought and frost, and the return of leased
land by some production units, in the face of financial difficulties" as driving
the drop in plan tings.
But sugar production will fall only slightly, by some 60,000
tonnes, Conab said, as mills favour sugar over ethanol relative to last year to
This shift resulted from "favourable sugar prices that
encouraged the production of this commodity to the detriment of ethanol".
Ethanol output in the Centre South is seen at 24.75bn litres,
compared to 26.2bn litres in the previous season.
Hopes for rising production
from other forecasts
Conab's forecast compares to a forecast from Job Economia
last week, which saw the Centre South cane crop at 593m tonnes.
Job Economia saw the Centre South sugar output over the same
at 36.6m tonnes, up some 1.3m tonnes year-on-year.
Conab forecast total sugar production in Brazil at some 38.70m