Mills in Brazil's center-south region processed 32.8 million metric tons of sugar cane in the first half of May, up from 23.7 million metric tons in the previous two weeks but down 6.7% from the same period last year, according to Antonio De Padua Rodrigues, technical director for industry group Unica. Ethanol production fell to about 332,857 gallons in the first half of May, down 13% from the comparable period last year, Rodrigues said. "Besides the poor quality of the raw material and the slow pace of crushing at the beginning of this crop, we're observing a significant reduction in productivity," he added.

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