Unusually dry weather likely to hurt Brazil cane through 2018

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Unusually dry weather in Brazil’s center-south sugar-producing region is likely to cut the total cane output per hectare for the last month of 2017 and in 2018.

Above-average rainfall in April and May had initially fostered a positive view for 2017. But expectations were now less upbeat due to about 70 rainless days, between early June to mid-August, in regions of the main cane-growing state of Sao Paulo.

“We still have the last third of the crop to be processed, and that share should have far worse yields than the cane harvested so far,” producers said.

From April to mid-August, Brazil’s center-south processed 343 million tonnes of cane in a crop projected to reach 585 million tonnes in 2017.

Although sugar content in cane increases with dry weather, that is unlikely to compensate for large losses in cane weight per hectare, as agricultural yields are measured.

Also, sugar mills in Brazil are adjusting their production mix toward more ethanol and less sugar will be on he market in the near fuure.