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UPDATE 1-Brazil's Copersucar says 'nothing concrete' in Alvean approach

(Includes comments from Copersucar CEO, context on Alvean)

SAO PAULO/NEW YORK, June 22 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Copersucar said on Tuesday it had been approached about a possible partnership at Alvean, the world’s largest sugar trader, but talks had not progressed to “anything concrete”.

Copersucar did not disclose the name of the company interested in buying a stake in Alvean, which has been fully owned by the Brazilian firm since Cargill sold its 50% holding in the business earlier this year.

“We are not closed to possible partnerships, be it Alvean or any other business,” Joao Roberto Teixeira, Copersucar’s chief executive, told reporters when asked during an earnings call if Copersucar was looking to replace Cargill with another partner.

Cargill sold its 50% Alvean holding to Copersucar for an undisclosed amount, in a deal which closed earlier this month.

Copersucar on Tuesday reported revenues of 38.7 billion reais ($7.74 billion) for 2020/21, up from 30.1 billion reais in the previous April-March season. It said consolidated net profit was 375 million reais, up from 119 million reais a year earlier.

Alvean moved 14 million tonnes of sugar in the last season, and Teixeira said he expects a similar volume in 2021/22. Of that, more than 3 million tonnes were sourced from Copersucar, with the rest from other mills in Brazil and other countries.

Copersucar said its own sugar sales totaled 5.4 million tonnes during the crop, up from 3.7 million tonnes.

With the fuel market affected by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020/21, Copersucar’s sales of ethanol dropped to 11.1 billion liters, down from 14.2 billion liters in the previous harvest.

A large fall came from its U.S. subsidiary Eco-Energy, which sold 6.5 billion liters versus 9.2 billion liters previously.

Teixeira said he expects a sharp recovery in the U.S. market and thinks that the country will move forward to E15, the increased blending of ethanol to gasoline.

“There will be resistance from some, but American society wants that increase. We believe it will be implemented.” ($1 = 4.9991 reais) (Reporting by Roberto Samora and Marcelo Teixeira; Additional reporting by Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alexander Smith)

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