Brazilian Sugar Output Seen at Record, Copersucar Says

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) — Sugar output in Brazil’s Center South, the world’s largest producing region, will climb to a record in the coming harvest as mills process a bumper crop, the world’s second-largest sugar trader said.

Output will increase to 35.5 million metric tons in the year starting April 1, up from 34.1 million tons a year earlier, said Luis Roberto Pogetti, chairman of Copersucar SA, the top sugar trader after Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc. Production of ethanol made from sugar cane will jump 24 percent to 26.5 billion liters (7 billion gallons) as a Brazilian government plan to raise the amount of biofuel added to gasoline encourages production, he said in an interview in Sao Paulo today.

“Ethanol will become profitable after the increase in the gasoline mix and we will respond to that,” Pogetti said. “Sugar is still profitable too, but mills are at the limit in terms of sugar capacity.”

Brazil, the largest ethanol producer and consumer after the U.S., plans to raise the amount of the biofuel blended into gasoline to 25 percent in June from 20 percent now, Energy Minister Edison Lobao said in a Jan. 17 interview. The South American country accounts for about half of world sugar exports.

Copersucar, based in Sao Paulo, shipped 5.1 million tons of sugar in the year through March 2012, or about 10 percent of global exports.

The Center South, which produces about 90 percent of Brazil’s sugar and ethanol, will harvest a record 580 million tons of cane in the coming 2013-14 season, more than the 570 million tons estimated on Sept. 4, Pogetti said. Output will rise from 531.3 million tons in the current crop year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lucia Kassai in Sao Paulo at lkassai@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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