The amount of sugarcane processed by mills in Brazil’s South Central region totaled 31.17 million tons in the first half of October, down 17.95% from the 38.00 million tons crushed during the same period last year and a drop of 8.15% versus the second half of September, when the total reached 33.94 million tons.
The smaller crush stemmed from rains that once again hit traditional cane-growing areas, impeding harvest activities. According to statistics from Somar Meteorology, the precipitation index in the Piracicaba region, for example, reached 62.60 millimeters in the first half of October, compared to 31.00 millimeters recorded for the entire month of September.
In addition to reducing the crush, the heavy rains also reduced sugar concentrations in the cane, with the Total Recoverable Sugars (TRS) index per ton of sugarcane processed totaling just 139.59 kilograms in the first half of October, compared to 149.80 kg/ton in the same period last year.
“Another 100 million tons of cane are expected to be processed through the end of the season,” said Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, technical director at the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA). That cane will be crushed during a period that’s historically characterized by lower sugar concentrations, thus bearing out the forecast for a drop in sugar levels in the cane this season, he added.
From the start of the current season through mid-October, the regional cane crush totaled 471.39 million tons, representing a 12.41% increase versus the same period in 2012. The crush also surpassed for the first time the 471.11 million tons recorded during the same period in 2010/2011, which is when South-Central Brazil producing units produced a record crush of 556.95 million tons for the entire season.
The TRS index from the start of the current season through mid-October was 133.57 kg/ton, compared to 135.16 kg/ton during the same period last year.
Sugar and ethanol production
South-Central mills continue to prioritize ethanol production. During first half of October, 53.30% of all processed sugarcane went to ethanol production, compared to 48.55% in the same period last year. From the start of the current season through mid-October, 54.75% of processed cane went to ethanol production.
Sugar production totaled 1.94 million tons in the first half of October, a 30.61% drop from the 2.79 million tons produced in the same period last year. Ethanol production in the first half of October totaled 1.36 billion liters – 613.05 million liters of anhydrous and 744.06 million liters of hydrous ethanol, representing a 16.01% drop compared to the 1.62 billion liters reached during the same period last year.
From the start of the current season through mid-October, sugar production was up by just 1.32% versus the same period last year, totaling 27.15 million tons this year. Ethanol production totaled 20.19 billion liters – 8.68 billion liters of anhydrous and 11.50 billion liters of hydrous ethanol – representing an overall increase of 20.57% compared to the same period in 2012/2013.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/rains-in-south-central-brazil-slow-cane-processing-reduce-cane-quality-in-the-first-half-of-october0)