One of the most persistent bottlenecks in the sugar industry supply chain is the Brazilian port infrastructure, which routinely forces more than 100 vessels to queue off of the coast of South America, waiting to load sugar.
Much of Brazil's sugar is loaded in bags, rather than in bulk, and damp or rainy weather can damage and spoil the sweetener.
Fortunately for ship captains and processors alike, dry weather has helped cut the backlog at Santos and Paranagua from 135 ships in August – a record – to 68, reports Bloomberg News.
Santos, in the state of Sao Paulo, is the nation's largest port. Paranagua is the second-biggest.
"Shipping companies will have plenty of days ahead to try to bring the lineup back to regular levels," Desiree Brandt, a forecaster at the Brazilian firm Somar Meteorologia, told the news service in an interview.
On the IntercontinentalExchange, raw No. 11 sugar futures for March 2011 delivery sank 1.19 percent to 28.47 cents per pound. In England, Liffe refined white sugar futures lost $7.70 to close at $722.90 per metric ton.
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