Brazilian sugar is perhaps the most well known type of sugar in the world. As the biggest sugar exporteron the planet, Brazil produces around thirty million tons of sugar every year, and exports two thirds of that to various countries.
Brazilian sugar is grown in two major regions in Brazil, the larger of these is the Sao Paulo region. Located in the center south of the country, it is known for its vast fertile plains, much of which have been turned over to sugar cane production over the past decades as sugar has become an increasingly viable crop, and as interest in sugar ethanol as a form of alternate fuel has also grown.
The other major growing region is in the northern states of Pernambuco and Algolas. Though these states are much less fertile and boast rugged terrain which is not nearly as well suited to the cultivation of sugar cane, they are the historical home of sugar production in Brazil. They are also the main regions of expansion, as the Sao Paulo region recently cut permits for new sugar mills in that jurisdiction due to environmental concerns, leaving would be developers to seek other regions in which to build their mills.
Global demand for sugar has continued to increase over the years, with population growth and the growing popularity of the Western style diet accounting for much of this growth. Production has also increased in many countries, and India in particular is now a solid rival to Brazil in the production stakes, though its exports are significantly lower than Brazil’s.
The great majority of Brazil’s sugar exports are in the form of VHP raw sugar, a raw sugar product that has undergone some processing to increase its polarity. VHP raw sugar contains no less than 99.4% sucrose, is a light brown color, and is in great demand by refineries around the world. VHP raw sugar is a Brazilian invention, created in 1993 as an answer to the inherent inefficiency of carting large amounts of raw sugar around the world only to lose a great deal of it to the refining process due to the fact that so much of it was made up of liquids and contaminants. Refineries soon saw the benefits to using a high sucrose raw material instead of traditional raw sugar, and the Brazilian sugar industry went from strength to strength after its invention.
VHP sugar is made by boiling the raw cane juice to concentrate it, allowing the sucrose crystals to crystallize in the solution, and then centrifuging the material. The products of the centrifugal process are VHP sugar, and molasses, which can be used for animal feeds or human health supplements depending on the grade of the product.
Brazil’s domination of the global sugar market has arisen through both agricultural prowess, technical innovation, and an emphasis on research and development. Though other countries, such as India, are now beginning to approach Brazil in production levels, they still lag behind the sugar giant in terms of growing practices, production quality, and biochemical prowess.
Brazil has always placed great importance on researching sugar, and even went so far as to sequence the sugar cane genome. As a result of this, and other related endeavors, there are now hundreds of different strains of sugar cane in Brazil. These strains have been designed for greater sucrose yield, for more successive generations of growth (sugar cane is usually left to grow for several generations, being harvested each season by cutting off the cane, but leaving the roots to grow again and again in successive seasons until the sucrose content of the newly grown cane dips below acceptable levels, or the roots become too damaged to grow healthy sugar cane, at which point the field is tilled and fresh cane sown), and to grow in difficult conditions.
Equal attention has been paid to the physical processes associated with milling sugar cane and refining sugar. Most Brazilian sugar mills have efficiency teams whose job it is to streamline and economize all processes in the plant. Recycling is also a high priority, with the sugar cane fiber often burned to power the facility. So efficient are Brazilian mills that they often manage to sell power onto the national grid because the burning of the bagasse (a name given to the fibrous part of the sugar cane discarded after crushing) provides more than enough energy to power the plant.
Purchasing Brazilian Sugar
The majority of Brazilian sugar is sold on the futures market before it is grown, but it is possible to occasionally secure smaller amounts of sugar on a spot basis, which means that the current market price is paid for a relatively small shipment. Spot prices can fluctuate wildly based on world events, domestic trends, oil prices, and other factors.
Brazilian sugar is usually sold CIF, meaning Cost, Insurance, and Freight. The price therefore includes the cost of the sugar, insurance on it until such time as it arrives at the destination port, and the freight to get it there. The seller must organize freight with a suitable carrier, and organize SGS inspections at the port of departure. It is standard practice for shipping documents, SGS certificates, and other relevant documentation to be presented before the seller is paid for the goods. To achieve this, a fully funded letter of credit is the standard financial instrument used in sugar trading, though there are other payment methods available to interested parties at the seller’s discretion.
Spot sugar trading is advantageous for buyers looking for smaller amounts of sugar in a timely fashion, or those who wish to take advantage of a dip in prices to boost their sugar reserves. If you would like more information on purchasing Brazilian sugar, please contact us to discuss your needs.
Brazilian Sugar Exporters
We source sugar directly from a Brazilian jointly owned commercial enterprise, which is in control of over 200 sugar mills. We also work with several US and EU hedge funds who own Brazilian sugar allocations in large quantities. Lastly, we also work with individual Brazilian sugar mills. Because of that, we are able to fill an order of any size, starting with the minimum 12.500 metric tons of sugar to multi million ton orders. Please contact us through the form below and include your specific requirements. We will get back to you with sugar availability and price quotation shortly