September 26, 2016 / 10:37 PM / in 2 years

Brazil's Sao Martinho to increase cane crush, sugar production

SAO PAULO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Sao Martinho , among the country’s largest sugar producers, said on Monday its board approved plans to increase cane crush and sugar output in the 2017/18 crop.

Sao Martinho, which operates four large sugar and ethanol mills in Brazil, said in a securities filing that its Santa Cruz mill in Sao Paulo state will increase cane crushing capacity to 5.6 million tonnes next year from 5.2 million tonnes this year.

The plant will raise sugar production capacity to 434,000 tonnes next season from 353,000 tonnes in the current crop, reducing ethanol production to 185 million liters from 200 million liters.

Brazilian sugar and ethanol producers are making changes to their installations to allow for increased sugar production at the expense of ethanol, aiming to take advantage of higher prices for the sweetener in the market.

New York raw sugar futures are trading near the highest levels since 2012, as the market prepares for what is expected to be at least two years of a global sugar supply deficit. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Alan Crosby)

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