Text rewritten and updated with more information from Somar Meteorologia
by Roberto Machel
SAO PAULO, Jun 30 (Reuters) - This Wednesday, Brazil registered frost formations in Rio Grande do Sul, north of São Paulo, a state where the weather phenomenon affected important sugarcane-producing areas, and not coffee. escaped, according to assessments by meteorologists.
São Paulo is the main sugarcane producer in Brazil, accounting for over 60% of sugar production in the country, which is the largest global exporter of the commodity.
The state of São Paulo is also the second Brazilian producer of Arabica coffee, behind Minas Gerais, but the coffee regions were not so affected by the frosts, although they were not unharmed by the cold.
"For sugarcane, the effect is more severe (than for coffee), sugarcane took the majority areas, it took areas in the heart of sugarcane. Coffee took the periphery, the coffee minority," compared meteorologist Celso Oliveira, da Somar, citing the region of Ribeirão Preto, an important sugarcane region.
The frosts of the day before, which had made bedsteads in areas of corn in Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul – already affected by the drought – were broader this Wednesday, and the intense cold is expected to continue on Thursday. (Full Story)
"In sugarcane, the frost caught Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul and some areas of the State of São Paulo this Wednesday. This was surprising, there was even frost in the north of São Paulo," said Oliveira.
He mentioned frosts in Pradópolis, in the region of Ribeirão Preto, where São Martinho has large operations. It was not possible to get immediate comment from the company.
"In the region of Jaboticabal there were temperatures below zero, in Pradópolis... There were also frosts in other areas, Rancharia, in the west of the state, it was 2 degrees below zero. Ituverava, 1.4 degrees, Bauru, also 2 degrees had frost. Votuporanga, 1.7, also frost," he stated.
Still, he said that the State of São Paulo had observed "pulverized frosts".
"Paraná had widespread frost, practically all the sugarcane mills. In São Paulo, we have reports of pockets, but not necessarily in the entire state," he said, explaining that the phenomenon also depends on the relief.
According to Somar, the affected coffee areas are located in Paraná (small national producer) and in the so-called Alta Paulista, in the region of Marília.
Oliveira assessed that other Arabica areas in São Paulo and southern Minas were not affected by the phenomenon.
Agrometeorologist Marco Antônio dos Santos stated that the frosts this time hit coffee plantations in Mogiana and some areas in southern Minas Gerais, the main producers of Arabica beans.
"It has been a long time since I have seen the formation of frosts of this magnitude (in Brazil)," said Santos.
According to Oliveira, from Somar, at dawn the company sees no risk for coffee, "although the cold is even stronger in the south of Minas, but even so it should not reach values for frost".
"For coffee, Minas Gerais is the largest producer in Brazil. In this case, I would say that the effect is more speculative than actually in Brazilian production, the majority areas of coffee were not affected," he commented.
The damage caused by frosts to corn should become clearer in the coming days, as the weather phenomenon is expected to reoccur on Thursday in Paraná, the second Brazilian producer of the cereal.
"Atmospheric conditions are still favorable for the occurrence of frosts in almost all regions of Paraná...", said Simepar, the state agency.
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