SAO PAULO/NEW YORK- Brazil's center-south region produced more sugar and nearly 10% more ethanol late in May than seen a year earlier, as the dry weather allowed for a quick cane processing pace, industry group Unica said in a bi-weekly report on Thursday.
Mills in the region produced 2.62 million tonnes of sugar in the second half of May, 2.6% more than a year ago and slightly above market expectations.
Ethanol production rose 9.1% to 1.98 billion liters, Unica said.
Sugar and ethanol plants crushed 43.22 million tonnes of cane in the second half of May, 1.9% more than a year ago.
Traders and analysts were expecting sugar output at 2.59 million tonnes and cane crush at 43.04, according to a survey by energy and commodities information provider S&P Global Platts.
It was the highest sugar output ever for this period, S&P said.
Raw sugar prices on ICE, which were up slightly earlier in the session, turned negative after Unica's data release.
(Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo and Marcelo Teixeira, Editing by Alexandra Hudson) ((email@example.com; +1 332 220 8062; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org - https://twitter.com/tx_marcelo))