BRAZIL: INTL FCStone sees centre-south cane crush at 587.5 million tonnes

Published: 11/10/2017, 2:12:54 PM

Consultancy firm INTL FCStone estimates that mills in Brazil's centre-south will crush 587.5 million tonnes of sugarcane in the 2018/19 harvest, up 0.6% from the the 2016/17 season forecast (583.8 million tonnes), according to Brazil's Estadão Conteúdo.

An improvement in weather conditions and a higher rate of sugarcane field renewal in 2015 and 2016 should contribute to the slight increase in cane crush next season. The 2018/19 harvest officially begins in April 2018.

"As for the harvested area, as opposed to the 1.5% decline projected for 2017/18, we expect it to advance 0.3% in the next harvest. This slight increase comes as a result of less reserved areas for sugarcane reforestation," said analyst João Paulo Botelho.

About 8.03 million hectares of sugarcane are expected to be harvested in the region in 2018/19.

"It should be noted that greater humidity resulting from a less dry climate tends to reduce the average ATR (Total Recoverable Sugar) of the crops," he said.

INTL FCStone expects ATR at 135.4 kg/tonne, down 0.5% from the projection for the current season.

The consultancy firm also estimates that 56% of the sugarcane will be destined to ethanol production in 2018/19, up from 53.4% this year. This should contribute to an increase of 5.1% in ethanol production, to 26.3 billion litres.

Hydrous ethanol output should total 15.4 billion litres in 2018/19, up 8.9% from the current year, while anhydrous ethanol production would remain stable. 

The group's estimate for sugar production is at 33.3 million tonnes, down 5.5% from 2017/18.