Brazilian sugar prices kept moving up during the first fortnight of March. The CEPEA/ESALQ Index (Sao Paulo state) for crystal sugar averaged 27.38 reals or 15.97 dollar per bag of 50 kilos on Mar 17th, increasing 2.66 percent in Real over Feb 29th. Due to the higher demand, mills had the chance to reduce their stocks in this period when the new crop gets close to be harvested.
According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE in Portuguese), the sugarcane production should reach almost 550 million tons this year, volume 6.7 higher over 2007. The cultivated area should correspond at 7.16 million hectares. The productivity, in turn, should remain at around 76.84 tons per hectare. (Cepea - Brazil)