Unica trims 2014-15 Brazil sugar cane forecast

by Ron Sterk
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KANSAS CITY — Recent dry weather in Brazil has resulted in a lower sugar cane production forecast for the upcoming 2014-15 marketing year from Unica, the nation’s sugar cane industry association.

Antonio de Padua Rodriques, technical director of Unica, said in a Feb. 17 Dow Jones Newswires story that earlier forecasts of at least a 5% gain from 2013-14 sugar cane production in the key south central region of Brazil has been lost because of dry weather.

The region produced a record 596 million tonnes of sugar cane in 2013-14, and earlier forecasts called for an increase of 36 million to 40 million tonnes in the upcoming year, which begins April 1. Although rainfall improved over the past weekend and is expected to be near normal for the remainder of the season, the lack of rain during the prior 60 days has the association expecting a crop similar in size to 2013-14, according to Mr. de Padua in the Dow Jones report.

Brazil is the world’s largest sugar cane grower and sugar producer and exporter. About 55% of the region’s crop was used to produce ethanol in 2013-14.
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