March 19, 2019 / 2:25 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's Raízen hedges over 60 pct of sugar sales in 2019/2020 - CEO

(Adds Guimarães comments)

SAO PAULO, March 19 (Reuters) - Brazil's Raízen Energia SA, the world's largest sugar maker, has hedged more than 60 percent of sugar sales for the 2019/2020 season, Chief Executive Officer Luis Henrique Guimarães said on Tuesday.

Speaking at an event hosted by the company in São Paulo, Guimarães said sugar sales were hedged with prices 15 percent above last season.

Last year, even with Brazil "withdrawing almost 10 million tons of sugar from the market," he said, there was a global surplus of sugar that put pressure on the commodity prices.

There are now signs of price recovery, he said.

Several consultancies have been betting on a global supply deficit in the 2019/20 season that begins in October, which could potentially sustain sugar prices.

Guimarães noted the company will expand sugarcane planting area to 105,000 hectares this year from almost 85,000 hectares in the previous season that ended around last December.

He said the company accelerated the renovation of cane fields last year amid a reduction in costs to execute such a strategy. (Reporting by José Roberto Gomes Writing by Ana Mano Editing by Susan Thomas)

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