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 September 8, 2015 - 4:57 PM EDT
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Platts Pre-Report Survey of Analysts Results: UNICA Sugarcane Crush - 2H August

Advance Estimates Suggest a 2H August Cane Crush of 48.27 Million mt in Brazil's Center-South Likely 45.17% Sugar Mix for 2H August 2015: Analysts

LONDON and SAO PAULO, Sept. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- 

Platts Survey of Analysts

  • Cane crush: 48.27 million metric tons (mt)
  • Cane yield (ATR*):  145.68 kilograms per metric ton
  • Sugar production: 3.031 million mt
  • Total ethanol production: 2.283 billion liters (ltr)
  • Hydrous ethanol production:  1.301 billion ltr
  • Anhydrous ethanol production: 948.24 million ltr
  • Sugar mix: 45.17 %
  • Ethanol mix:  54.83%

Sugarcane crush volumes in the key Center-South region of Brazil in the second half of August are expected to total 48.27 million mt, as few days lost to rain and maintenance enabled the harvest to continue apace, a Platts survey of analysts showed Tuesday.

The wider range of analysts' expectations for cane crush spanned from 46.45 million mt to 51.2 million mt. Brazilian sugarcane industry group UNICA is expected to release its bimonthly sugarcane harvest data later in the week. 

Analysts at Kingsman, the agricultural analysis unit of Platts, forecast the cane crush at 48.9 million mt. Cane yield, as measured by total recoverable sugar (ATR) is likely to be 146 kg/mt, up 4.8 kg/mt from the previous two weeks.

Platts' Kingsman senior analyst Claudiu Covrig said the latest update could bring yet more bearish news to reverse a recent technical rally in the futures market as the second half of August saw little rain, limited maintenance and an extra day of potential crushing.

"Center-South Brazil was blessed with good weather in the second half of August, with some scattered rain that probably hampered crushing for about 0.7 days," said Covrig. "In addition there were reports of some maintenance work at the beginning of the period by at least two big companies, as well as by some smaller ones, which should be also factored in when calculating how much cane was crushed. Therefore, all in all, 0.8-0.9 days were probably lost to rain and maintenance."

Covrig also noted: "Taking into account that the second half of August has 16 days of crush (one more than usual), we are forecasting a cane crush of 48.9 million mt, which is very close to the high so far this season in the second half of July when 49.44 million mt were crushed."

While the dry weather has been important to the heightened pace of the harvest and also helped improve cane quality, the yields continued to trail last year's levels as the crop struggled to regain quality lost during rains earlier in the season and also due to the flowering which has depleted sucrose levels.  

The average ATR estimate for H2 August was 145.68 kg/mt, down 1.87 kg/mt year on year. Analysts surveyed said they expected the ATR to be within a range of 144.8 kg/mt of sugarcane to 146.9 kg/mt.

With crushing maximized, analysts expect a further recovery in the sugar mix to 45.17%, up from 44.87% in the first half of August. Given the recent decline in the value of the Brazilian currency, sugar had been paying better than ethanol through the end of August, said Covrig. "So we might see some surprises from the sugar mix if the currency remains weak in the following weeks," he cautioned. At the current rate, sugar production could reach a new high for this season at an estimated 3.03 million mt.

In terms of ethanol production, the average of analysts' expectations calls for total ethanol output of 2.283 billion liters -- which too would represent a record high for this season. However, hydrous ethanol would still lead production at 1.301 billion liters. For the second half of August anhydrous output is expected to be 948.24 million liters.

Despite the increase in the sugar mix expected for the period, higher domestic sales of hydrous ethanol are anticipated for the second half of August with an extra day helping it to be stronger than the first half of the month.

"The total for August is expected to be pretty similar to previous month sales or even surpass July's record of 1.6 billion liters," said Alessandra Rosete, agriculture analyst at Kingsman.

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 Kingsman Sugar and Ethanol Analysts: Claudiu Covrig, Maria Nunez, Alessandra Rosete, and Beatriz Pupo; and Platts Sugar Pricing Specialists: David Elward, Nicolle Monteiro de Castro and Darren Stetzel. 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, Asia: Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607,

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets. Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency. Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, shipping and sugar markets. A division of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), Platts is based in London with more than 1,000 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at

About McGraw Hill Financial: McGraw Hill Financial is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL and J.D. Power. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 30 countries. Additional information is available at

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Source: PR Newswire (September 8, 2015 - 4:57 PM EDT)

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