SAO PAULO: Brazilian sugar group UNICA estimated on Friday that mills in the country’s centre-south region will crush around 5 million tonnes of sugarcane in the second half of March, nearly five times more than in the same period in 2022.
UNICA’s projection confirms market speculation of an early start to the Brazilian sugar season after favourable weather in the between-crops’ period from late November until now. Brazil’s centre-south region is expected to reap close to a record sugarcane crop in 2023/24.
Brazil’s sugar season officially starts in April, but mills kick off processing early when cane is ready in the fields and prospects are good for a large crop.
UNICA said in a report that 24 mills were already operating during the first half of March, crushing 608,000 tonnes of sugarcane versus 142,000 tonnes last year.
The group projected that 36 more mills have started or will start operations in the second half of March, bringing the total number of plants in activity to 60, compared to 25 at the same period a year earlier.