BRAZIL: Sugarcane harvest starts in São Paulo state

Published: 03/12/2018, 3:48:26 PM

The sugarcane harvest has started at mills in Brazil's São Paulo state in March, according to Brazil's Globo Rural news website.

Batatais mill resumed activities in March, after three months stopped during the offseason. Henrique Gatti, the company's agricultural manager, said the company's cane fields have suffered from a drought at the end of 2017.

Rains normally begin in September at São Paulo sugarcane production regions. But last year it started only in November, harming the development of the sugarcane.

In the start of the season, sugarcane mills are already showing a tendency to focus more on ethanol production than in sugar this year.

Sugar prices in international prices fell 30% compared to last year, while ethanol prices in Brazil increased more than 20% during the past 12 months.

"We have had two very good years of sugar prices in international market, which has given an incentive to our business," said farmer Bernardo Biagi.

He said that sugarcane companies focused on sugar production in the past two year, but are now expected to produce more ethanol in 2018. Sixty percent of the sugarcane should be directed for ethanol production and 40% for sugar production.