Platts Pre-Report Survey of Analysts Results: UNICA Sugarcane Crush

Advance Estimates Suggest a 1H July Cane Crush of 31.29 Million mt in Brazil's Center-South

Likely 42.60% Sugar Mix for 1H July 2015: Analysts

Jul 20, 2015, 16:37 ET from Platts

LONDON and SAO PAULO, July 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

Platts Survey of Analysts

  • Cane crush: 31.29 million metric tons (mt)
  • Cane yield (ATR*): 131.45 kilograms per metric ton
  • Sugar production: 1.72 million mt
  • Total ethanol production: 1.402 billion liters (ltr)
  • Hydrous ethanol production: 838.6 million ltr
  • Anhydrous ethanol production: 564.08 million ltr
  • Sugar mix: 42.60 %
  • Ethanol mix: 57.4%

Sugarcane crush volumes in the key Center-South region of Brazil in the first half of July are expected to total 31.29 million metric tons (mt), a considerable decline from the second half of June, largely attributable to excessive rains that have hampered harvest, a Platts survey of analysts showed Monday.

The wider range of analysts' expectations for cane crush spanned 29.8 million to 34.5 million mt. Brazilian sugarcane industry group UNICA is expected to release its bimonthly sugarcane harvest data Thursday.

Brazil's Center-South sugarcane crush will be 29.8 million mt, according to Claudiu Covrig, senior agriculture analyst at Kingsman, an analysis unit of Platts, a leading global provider of energy and commodities information and benchmark prices.  His forecast is at the low end of advance market expectations.  Covrig sees cane yield, as measured by total recoverable sugar (or ATR), at 130 kg/mt.  He predicts stability versus the prior two-week period due to the fact that any potential increase could have been capped by rains and water accumulation in the cane.

"For the first half of July it is estimated that around five to five and a quarter days were lost to rain across Center-South Brazil," Covrig said.

In terms of sugar mix expectations, the Platts Kingsman analyst foresees a slight decrease of 0.2% from the previous two weeks, with the sugar mix likely at 43.4%.

"There are technical problems in producing sugar after heavy rainfall.  Therefore, for the first time this season, we might see a halt to the sugar mix increase even if we are approaching the crop's peak," Covrig said.

Considering analysts' estimates at 1.72 million mt of sugar for the first half of July, this would put the cumulative total for the current season at 10.98 million mt, a decline of almost 15% compared to the previous crop. The volume would also be the lowest for the period in the past 11 years.

An average of analysts' expectations points to total ethanol output of 1.40 billion liters, with hydrous ethanol output expected to fall below the 1-billion-liters mark for the first time since the first half of May.

The 1H July estimated hydrous output of 838.6 million liters -- down 17% year on year – suggests that for the first time this season the two-week hydrous production may come in below that of the same period a year ago.

Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul were the states most affected by the rains during 1H July, with rain reported for two weeks and 12 days, respectively.  Parana is not expected to have crushed a single metric ton in the July 1-15 period, according to estimates from Platts' Kingsman. This compares with 3.3 million mt in previous two weeks. Mato Grosso do Sul is estimated to have crushed roughly 710,000 mt, compared with 3.6 million mt in 2H June.

Analysts said both states are likely to downwardly revise their estimates for this season. Initial estimates by the states were reported at Parana: 43 million mt; and, Mato Grosso do Sul: 50 million mt.  

Analysts said this season's outstanding cane will likely be left in the fields -- the so called "cana bisada" -- to be crushed early next season.  A total of nearly 6 million mt will likely be lost in both states during 1H July, analysts suggested. The two states together would represent roughly 16% of the total volume crushed in the whole Center-South region this season.

Visit the Platts and Platts' Kingsman websites for more information on sugar and biofuels.

Interviews may be arranged with the following sugar experts via Platts Communications: Platts Sugar Pricing Specialists: Nicole Monteiro de Castro, Darren Stetzels, Beatriz Pupo, Reinout Geyssens, Alessandra Rosete; and Platts Sugar and Ethanol Analyst: Claudiu Covrig. If you would like to receive this on a regular basis, please select Agriculture at this alerts sign-up link.

*Kingsman is Platts' agricultural business unit, acquired in 2012.
**In its bi-monthly cane harvest update, UNICA publishes a range of sugarcane harvest production metrics for Brazil's Center-South region, also broken down into Sao Paulo and other states.

Global, Americas: Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607,

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