Sao Paulo, 10 August (Argus) — Millers in Brazil's center-south region have been aided by drier weather in the second half of July and were able to harvest more than 46mn t of sugarcane during the last two weeks of last month, up nearly 11pc compared with the same period of 2011.
Despite the recent advance, millers in the region have harvested just 216.8mn t of sugarcane overall as of 1 August, which is down 16.6pc on the year, according to Unica, the country's main cane and ethanol industry association.
During the first four months of the harvest, which began on 1 April, ethanol production reached 10.45bn l (65.76mn bl), which is lower by 21.5pc on a year-over-year basis.
"Despite the drier weather in July, there has not been a significant increase in the sugar content of the cane,” Unica interim president Antonio de Padua Rodrigues said.
The result: Unica will probably lower its ethanol and sugar production estimate for the 2012-13 crop year.
Since the start of this season's harvest, mills in the center-south region continue to favor biofuels production over sugar, with 52pc of the cane going to ethanol.
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