SAO PAULO, May 7 (Reuters) - The sugar and ethanol division of Brazilian conglomerate Cosan SA said late Wednesday its sugar output in the 2014/15 season fell more than 9 percent from the previous season after drought crimped cane development.
Raizen, the joint venture between Cosan and Royal Dutch Shell produced 4.08 million tonnes in the cane crop year that ended in March, down from 4.49 million tonnes the previous season.
Raizen’s ethanol output, the other component produced from crushing cane in Brazil, was up just over 1 percent at 2.06 billion liters over the same period, Cosan said in its quarterly earnings report.
Cosan, which include natural gas and fuels distribution, port, railway and land management assets, posted a net loss of 43.7 million reais ($13 million) in the first quarter of 2015, compared to a 256.1 million real gain a year ago.
The results were hurt by costs involved in takeover of Brazil’s largest railway operator America Latina Logistica, also known as ALL.
Raizen operates 24 sugar and ethanol mills, making it the world’s largest sugar and ethanol producer.
Brazil’s cane belt began crushing the new crop in April and is expected to recover slightly from last year’s drought after rains started to normalize in recent months.
The company forecast its 2015/16 cane crushing at 57 million to 60 million tonnes depending on rains, which would surpass last season’s crush by 3 million tonnes in the best case scenario.
Raizen expects to produce 4.2 million to 4.4 million tonnes of sugar, and 1.9 billion to 2.1 billion tonnes of ethanol.
Reporting by Reese Ewing and Roberto Samora; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli