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UPDATE 1-Brazilian cane crush, sugar output down in late September -Unica

(Adds report details, market estimates, table) SAO PAULO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Brazil's center-south region, the world's largest producer of sugar, cut cane crushing and output of the sweetener late in September as the crop entered its final stage, cane industry group Unica said on Tuesday. Brazil's main cane belt produced 2.848 million tonnes of sugar in the second half of September, compared to 3.126 million tonnes in the previous two-week period, Unica said. Mills crushed 40.30 million tonnes of cane versus 45.44 million tonnes in the first half of last month. Ethanol output also fell, but at a smaller pace, with mills producing 2.025 billion liters late last month. That compared to 2.098 billion liters early in September. The cane crush was slightly below market expectations for the period. Ethanol output was above estimates as mills continued to earmark more cane to produce the biofuel, spurred prices. Mills reduced the amount of cane allocated to sugar production to 46.54 percent of the total, down from 47.96 percent in the first half of September and sharply lower than the 50.15 percent seen at this time last year. That marks an inversion of a trend for this period in the season, as mills usually produce more sugar in the later stages of the crop because cane has more sucrose after being exposed to winter dryness. This year the weather was much drier than normal, boosting that effect. Unica said sugar content (TRS, total recoverable sugar) reached 159 kg per tonne of cane late in September, 9 percent more than last year's figure and the highest level seen in the region since 2010.

See below detailed figures from Unica's crop report for the second half of September (cane and sugar in million tonnes, ethanol in billion liters, total recoverable sugar-TRS in kg per tonne):

BRAZIL'S CENTER-SOUTH - 2nd HALF OF SEPT (ANNUAL COMPARISON)

2016/17 2017/18 PCT CHANGE CANE CRUSH 42.52 40.30 -5.22 SUGAR OUTPUT 2.96 2.84 -3.85 ETHANOL OUTPUT 1.81 2.02 11.55 TRS (kg/T) 145.77 159.33 9.31 CANE TO SUGAR 50.15 pct 46.54 pct

CANE TO ETHANOL 49.85 pct 53.46 pct

BRAZIL'S CENTER-SOUTH CUMULATIVE DATA - 2016/17 VS 2017/18

2016/17 2017/18 PCT CHANGE CANE CRUSH 476.24 467.17 -1.91 SUGAR OUTPUT 27.88 29.23 4.85 ETHANOL OUTPUT 19.96 19.41 -2.75 TRS (kg/T) 132.77 136.18 2.57 CANE TO SUGAR 46.28 pct 48.23 pct

CANE TO ETHANOL 53.72 pct 51.77 pct Source: Cane Industry Group Unica

(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Paul Simao)