As anyone following world sugar this season is now amply aware, Brazil’s cane mills are heavily favoring the manufacture of ethanol over sugar this season. In the first half of November, the ethanol share of cane crush was 66 percent, up from nearly 58 percent a year ago. For the April-May season to date, the cumulative ethanol share is 64 percent, up from nearly 53 percent a year ago.

Though cane crush was down more than 9 percent in the first half of November, total ethanol output was up by more than 1 percent thanks to that elevated ethanol share. Sugar production was 880,000 MT, down more than 9 percent YOY.

For the season to date, cane crush is down nearly 5 percent. Total ethanol output is up more than 19 percent at 28.35 billion liters. Sugar output is down nearly 5 percent at 529.65 MMT. Sugar output has not been this low since 2008.

Brazil center-south cumulative sugar production, seasonal comparison

Source: UNICA, McKeany-Flavell
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