Fire destroys 180,000 tons of sugar at Brazil port
October 20, 2013
A fire destroyed some 180,000 tons of sugar at several warehouses in the southern Brazilian port of Santos before it was contained, authorities said on Friday. Four people were injured in the blaze, which erupted in warehouses owned by Copersucar, the world’s largest sugar trader, the Port of Santos said in a statement.
“The fire affected some 180,000 tons of raw sugar,” said Copersucar in a statement. “The causes of the incident are not yet known and are being investigated,” the firm added, saying it had put in place contingency plans to minimise the impact. “The fire has been brought under control,” a port authority spokesman earlier told AFP. Port officials said the fire broke out in the conveyor belt system that links Copersucar’s six warehouses, which have a capacity to hold up to 100,000 tons of sugar each.
After the fire was reported, sugar prices in the $17.5 billion futures market spiked six percent and traded near one-year highs. Sugar futures later pared gains and were recently up 2.5 percent at 19.47 cents a pound on ICE Futures US. Santos, Brazil’s biggest port, accounts for more than 60 percent of the country’s sugar exports and Copersucar is responsible for 25 percent of the sugar shipped through Santos. From January to August, nearly 12.8 million tons of sugar transited through Santos, officials said.Courtesy Agence France-Presse
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