SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – A fire yesterday destroyed up to 300,000 tonnes of sugar and much of the Santos Port warehouses owned by Copersucar, the world’s largest trader of the sweetener, the port authority of Santos said.
Copersucar says nearly a fifth of the world’s sea-borne sugar trade flows through its trading desks.
ICE March raw sugar prices rose more than 6 percent to a one-year high on news of the fire, before paring gains. By 8:40 a.m. ET the contract was up 3 percent at 19.58 cents per lb.
“Three warehouses were destroyed by the fire and we are trying to control the fire now in a fourth,” said a representative for the fire department in Santos, adding that four people were hurt.
Copersucar has six warehouses with capacity to hold 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes each at the Santos port, the world’s main source of raw sugar shipments. Copersucar officials said they had no additional information about the containment and damage of the blaze beyond what the fire department has reported.
Live television footage showed a three-story high mountain of sugar engulfed in flames inside a warehouse that had lost most of its siding and roof to the flames.