Brazil fire destroys one of world's biggest sugar terminals
By Reese Ewing and Fabiola Gomes, ReutersSAO PAULO--A fire ravaged Copersucar's sugar terminal in Brazil on Friday, paralyzing operations of the world's biggest sugar trader and putting 10 million tons of export capacity offline for six months or more.
October 20, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The fire hit all of Copersucar's warehouses at the Santos port, igniting 180,000 tons of sugar - roughly 10 percent of Brazil's monthly sugar exports -- and driving prices of the sweetener to a one-year high on global markets.
The loss of nearly all of its port capacity will send Copersucar scrambling to lease or rent terminal space to cover its obligations to global buyers and exchanges in the coming months. Copersucar says nearly a fifth of the world's sugar exports flows through its trading desks.
“A conservative estimate would be six months to get this in operational form (again),” said a U.S. trader. “The jewel in their crown has been effectively destroyed.”
Copersucar's rivals in Brazil will likely pick up some of the slack left by the fire and benefit from the extra export volume and improved sugar prices. The fire did not affect terminal operations at other exporters at Santos, such as Cosan SA, Sao Martinho SA or Noble.