W35: Sugar Update

In W35 in the sugar landscape, sugar futures experienced fluctuations during the week. On Monday, August 28, sugar futures for the Oct-23 contract increased by almost 3% to USD 25.57 cents per pound (lb). This is due to India's plan to ban sugar exports starting in Oct-23, driven by the forecast of below-average monsoon rains in Sept-23 and unusually dry weather in Aug-23. Thailand also faced below-average rainfall, affecting sugarcane development. However, on Tuesday, August 29, sugar futures dipped to USD 25.45 cents/lb after hitting a two-month high on Monday, partly due to profit-taking after significant gains. The decline continued through the week, reaching USD 25.06 cents/lb on Thursday, August 31. On Friday, September 1, sugar futures rebounded to USD 25.81 cents/lb due to concerns over supply from Asian countries and financial sector factors.

The sugar export ban by India led to nearly a 12-year high in sugar prices on the European futures market, reaching USD 730 per metric ton (mt) on August 30. Meanwhile, the opening of the European Union (EU) sugar market has been highly beneficial for Ukraine, allowing it to export a substantial portion of its sugar beet crop. Ukraine's 2023 sugar production is forecast between 1.6 million metric tons (mmt) to 1.7 mmt, with an export potential of around 1.0 mmt. Moreover, harvesting and processing of sugar beets for the 2023 season in Ukraine have already commenced, with two sugar factories officially processing beets in the Vinnytsia region and the other in the Cherkasy region.

Brazil's sugarcane crushing for the 2023/24 season is projected to reach 660.6 mmt compared to the initially forecasted 653.4 mmt attributed to favorable weather conditions that have improved yields. As a result, Brazil's sugar production for the 2023/24 season is estimated to reach a record 42.7 mmt, surpassing the initial forecast of 40.4 mmt and the previous cycle's 37 mmt. Brazil is also expected to achieve record sugar exports of 32.2 mmt for the season, surpassing previous estimates and significantly exceeding the 27.1 mmt exported in the 2022/23 season. In the center-south of Brazil, the 2023/24 harvest is advancing. Sugar production in the first half of Aug-23 totaled 3.46 mmt, an increase of 31.22% compared to the corresponding period of the 2022/23 season.

Sugar prices in Vietnam have seen a significant increase recently. On August 15, prices for white sugar ranged from USD 0.83 per kilogram (kg) to USD 0.88/kg, and prices for refined sugar ranged from USD 0.89 to USD 0.92/kg. However, by August 28, sugar prices increased to USD 1.08/kg for white sugar and USD 1.12/kg for refined sugar. These price hikes are attributed to fluctuations in the global sugar market, with India's announcement of a ban on sugar exports in Oct-23. In response, the food industry has recommended expanding the sugar import quota to at least 600 thousand mt as domestic sugar factories struggle to meet business demands.

Lastly, Pakistan's Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has passed a ban on sugar exports to address rising sugar prices in the domestic market. On Aug-23, the wholesale price of sugar in the southern port city of Karachi increased by USD 0.075/kg to USD 0.51/kg. In Quetta, sugar prices increased by USD 0.033/kg, while in Lahore, sugar prices stood at USD 0.52/kg.

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