Brazil is the world's leading sugar producer and officials expect a bumper crop for 2013/2014. As of December 1, area mills processed 569.88 million tons of sugar cane, up 11.61 percent compared with a year ago.
Producers are increasingly turning to production of ethanol, a sugar cane-based biofuel. Unica said only 45.64 of the current harvest went to sugar production, compared with 49.82 percent a year ago and 48.57 percent in early December 2011.
Sugar production from the start of the harvest till late November reached 33.14 million tons, marginally up over that of last year while ethanol output soared 18.95 percent to 24.25 billion liters.