Brazil's Cosan stockpiles sugar for sale later in season

miércoles 13 de agosto de 2014 21:14 GYT

By Reese Ewing

SAO PAULO Aug 13 (Reuters) - Cosan SA, Brazil's largest sugar and ethanol producer, said it was foregoing sales of sugar for better conditions later in the 2014/2015, when supplies of the sweetener are expected to tighten after an early end to harvest.

In the company's second-quarter earnings report released late Wednesday, Cosan posted a consolidated net profit of 104.1 million reais ($45 million), compared with a 201.5 million real loss in the same three months last year.

Cosan, which has divisions spanning sugar, ethanol, natural gas, fuel distribution, logistics and farm land management, posted strong quarterly gains from its fuel distribution unit, a joint venture known as Raizen with Royal-Dutch Shell. Sales of ethanol, gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels rose 16 percent in the second quarter versus a year ago.

Raizen's sugar and ethanol production surged as well by nearly 14 percent and 19 percent, respectively, compared with a year ago output, due to strong crushing results over the first three months of the season. Weather in the main cane belt has so far been dry and favorable for harvest.

And though ethanol sales grew by 51 percent in the quarter, sugar sales dropped 23 percent, especially on exports.

"The main factor for the drop in net revenue was the postponement of shipments for the end of the 2014/15 season," Cosan said in its earnings results.

The company is not the only in the Brazil's sugar sector to stockpile the sweetener amid horrid prices that have been hovering just over 16 cents a lb on the ICE futures market in recent days, which is well below production costs.

Sao Martinho, one of Brazil's medium-sized sugar producers, reported similar commercial plans for its sugar sales on Monday in a quarterly earnings report.   Continuación...