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SAO PAULO, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Brazil's main center-south cane belt produced 362,000 tonnes of sugar in the first half of December, a 43.9 percent drop from the previous two-week period, as most mills approached the end of the 2016/17 crushing season.
According to a report by sugar industry group Unica, mills crushed 7.145 million tonnes of cane in the period versus 19.6 million tonnes in the second half of November, a 60.3 percent slump.
The reduction in crushing was due to heavy rains and a smaller number of mills in operation, Unica said, adding that only 55 mills are expected to continue crushing sugar cane in the Center South region in the second half of December. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum)