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W4: Weekly Sugar Update

Updated Feb 1, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W4 in the global sugar landscape. In summary, Brazil experienced weak movement of sugar volumes which led to a moderate drop in price from USD 26.81/50kg to USD 26.41/50kg for crystals with up to 150 Icumsa in Ribeirão Preto. Sugar mills in India’s top producing state, Maharashtra, are set to stop cane crushing 45 to 60 days earlier than last year, as heavy rain has curtailed sugar cane availability. Turkey imported 550K MT of sugar in the first 11 months of 2022, a record high volume for the country. Lastly, Damietta Port Authority in Egypt will receive a shipment of Brazilian sugar for the Supply Commodities Authority, amounting to 50K MT and 49K MT on Jan 30 and Feb 1 respectively.


Weak Movement for Sugar in Brazil With Absent Industries (Jan 23)

According to SAFRAS & Mercado consultant, Maurício Muruci, the industries are well supplied with prior purchases made between November and December, “while also avoiding exposing the plants in the off-season peak period in the Center-South of Brazil which is in January”. This explains the moderate drop from levels of USD 26.81/50kg (R$ 136.00) to USD 26.41/50kg (R$ 134.00) for crystals with up to 150 Icumsa in Ribeirão Preto. In the international market, purchases are still restricted in the face of frustration with the Indian government, which reversed its decision to announce extra export volumes in January.

More Sugar From the Center-South of Brazil in 2023/24 (Jan 26)

With raw sugar availability tight through 2023 and futures close to 20c, Brazil's performance will be closely watched this year. Unlike the past crop, sugar should continue to offer better returns than ethanol when the crop starts in April. In 2022, ethanol prices stayed above/close to sugar until mid-June. As a result, mills prioritized ethanol production over sugar for the first time since 2019. In 2023, we expect mills to prioritize sugar, meaning that 2.2M MT more sugar should be produced in Q2' 23 compared to 2Q'22.

Sugar Opened Trading Session on Jan 26 With Increases of More Than 1% Supported by Oil (Jan 26)

Sugar futures prices rose significantly on the New York and London stock exchanges on Jan 26. The sweetener market had oil support in the morning and also followed exchange rate fluctuations. In terms of fundamentals, pay attention to the 2023/24 crop in Brazil. At 08:25 (Brasília time), the raw type of sugar had an appreciation of 1.49% in the main contract on the New York Stock Exchange (ICE Futures US), at USD 449.96/MT (20.41 cents/lb).


Indian Sugar Mills to Close Early as Rain Hits Cane Supply (Jan 27)

Sugar mills in India’s top producing state Maharashtra are set to stop cane crushing 45 to 60 days earlier than last year, as heavy rain has curtailed sugar cane availability, a senior state government official said. The western state of Maharashtra, which accounts for more than a third of the country’s sugar output, could produce 12.8M MT of sugar in the 2022/23 marketing year that began on Oct 1, down from an earlier forecast of 13.8M MT, Maharashtra’s sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said. Lower sugar output could prevent the world’s second-biggest exporter from allowing additional exports, potentially supporting global prices and allowing rivals Brazil and Thailand to increase their shipments. India has allowed sugar mills to export only 6.1M MT of the sweetener in the current season and, out of that, mills have already contracted to export 5.7M MT. 

India Intends to Restrict Sugar Exports in 2023 (Jan 27)

Revelations from government and industry officials say India is not considering continuing to export sugar this year, in stark contrast to speculation that the world's second-largest sweetener producer will permit the second batch of exports to foreign countries. India, the world's largest sugar exporter after Brazil, exported a record 11M MT in the crop year to September 30, 2022. However, from the next crop year starting October 1, 2022, the Indian government only allows sugar mills to export 6.1M MT. High food prices at the beginning of the crop year are also part of the reason for limited exports. The country's authorities said they may consider a second round of sugar exports after a clearer view of domestic production. Factories have contracted to export about 5.6M MT and manufacturers, traders and industry officials are expecting the government to allow 2-4M MT to be exported abroad.

United States

Crude Sugar Rises on Ice and March Contract (Jan 26)

The raw sugar futures contracts traded on ICE had an increase on Jan 25, supported by news from the two largest global producers of the commodity: Brazil and India. Raw sugar for March delivery rose USD 0.23, 1.2%, to trade at USD 443.35/MT (20.11 cents a pound). Traders said the market gained support from the news that Petrobras has raised the prices of gasoline sold to distributors, a move that could encourage mills to use cane to produce ethanol biofuel instead of sugar. They also cited comments that the Government of India would confirm the ban on additional sugar exports for the time being.

Sugar Futures Close Higher (Jan 26)

Sugar futures contracts ended on Jan 25 with an increase in New York, even with a slight drop in London. The market followed the price of oil, which was still optimistic about demand from China, and the devaluation of the dollar. There was also an expectation with the crop in the Center-South of Brazil and the crop in India. All ICE Futures contracts in New York closed higher. The March/23 contract, traded at USD 443.35/MT (20.11 cents per pound), rose 23 points. The May/23 contract, traded at USD 415.35/MT (18.84 cents per pound), was up 22 points. ICE Europe, London saw just one drop in contracts. The contract in question was dated March/23, traded at USD 547.00, down by 0.70 cents. The May/23 contract, traded at USD 536.50, rose by USD 1.10.

Sugar Soars on Supply Concerns From India and Europe (Jan 27)

Sugar futures in New York are at their highest level since late December, amid concerns that lower supply from India and parts of Europe will tighten the market. According to Bloomberg Associated British Foods this week said UK sugar production will fall by 28% in the current crop year after bad weather hurt beet production. Analysts expect production in India to fall below last year's level of around 36M MT, and that could reduce the chances that the country's government will allow additional export quotas. So far, Indian sugar mills have exported an already permitted 6M MT of sugar, and the government is unlikely to authorize more until it knows the size of the cane crop, said Stephen Geldart.


Turkey Imported a Record High 550K MT of Sugar in the First 11 Months of 2022 (Jan 23)

Turkey imported 550K MT of sugar in the first 11 months of 2022, a record high volume for the country. 350K MT of imported sugar are estimated to be domestically consumed whereas the remaining 200K MT is estimated to be used in the production of goods destined for export markets. The total value of sugar imports was USD 404M.

United Kingdom

UK Sugar Production Set to Be Hampered by Adverse Winter Weather (Jan 25)

UK sugar production in the 2022/23 season is likely to be lower than previously expected following adverse weather, British Sugar said. The beet sugar processor, a unit of Associated British Foods, said in a trade update that production is now seen at 0.74MT. Volume is below the previous forecast of 0.9MT and also short of the previous season's 1.03MT. The first two weeks of December were the coldest start to winter since 2010, according to Britain's Met Office. Farmers said the cold weather had damaged sugar beet crops, which were still in the ground.


Egyptian Ports Receive 205K MT of Wheat and Sugar (Jan 29)

During the next two days, Egyptian ports will receive 4 shipments of wheat and sugar, amounting to 205K MT, for the Supply Commodities Authority and some public sector companies. The Damietta Port Authority will also receive a shipment of Brazilian sugar for the Supply Commodities Authority, amounting to 50K MT via the ship PILION on Monday, January 30. The port of Damietta, on the first of February, will receive a shipment of sugar for the Dakahlia Company for Sugar Industry and Refining, amounting to 49K MT, via the ship CHRISTINAB, which is coming from Brazil. 

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