Brazilian sugar production quickens in early July after wet June

SAO PAULO, July 24 Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:05pm EDT

SAO PAULO, July 24 (Reuters) - Cane mills in center-south Brazil are back churning out sugar in early July, after wet conditions in June slowed crushing of the record crop that is source to half the world's exports of the sweetener, local industry association Unica said on Wednesday.

Brazil's main cane region produced 2.4 million tonnes of sugar in the first half of July, up 60 percent from the 1.5 million produced in the second half of June. Sugar output in the first half of July was not fully up to speed yet, however, with mills' sugar output still lagging 9 percent behind the 2.63 million tonnes produced in the same fortnight a year ago.

Wet weather in July slowed operations across the center-south cane belt, while early July was largely dry, allowing mills to resume harvesting. (Reporting by Reese Ewing; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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