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W5: Weekly Sugar Update

Updated Feb 7, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W5 in the global sugar landscape. In summary, StoneX predicts a reduction in the global sugar surplus to 5M MT in the 2022/23 season while sugar prices in Western markets have risen by more than 10%. In some European countries, sugar prices have risen by 50-60% over the course of a year due to the energy crisis. Tridge’s data analysis indicates that Brazilian wholesale sugar ended January higher, rising 2% over the week to finish at USD 0.6/kg. In India, ISMA revised its sugar production estimate for 2022/23 down by 6.84% over its earlier estimate issued in October. Lastly, the Tanzanian government will deploy a cargo ship between Mtwara Port and Comoros Islands from February 2023 to boost trade, including sugar, between the two countries.


Prices on the World Sugar Market in January 2023 (Jan 30)

Compared to the data for the same month of 2022, sugar prices in Western markets have risen by more than 10%. The cost of raw sugar (sugar No. 11) on ICE in the United States decreased by 0.4% over the month and amounted to USD 443.2/MT. On the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE), white sugar fell by 1.4% over the month to USD 547.9/MT. At the same time, compared with the data at the beginning of 2022, sugar prices in Western markets rose by more than 10%. Quotations on the Zhengzhou Stock Exchange (ZCE, China) changed slightly over the month, the price of sugar amounted to USD 836.5/MT. In the Russian market, sugar rose in price by 3.8%, to USD 435.6/MT (at the same time, the US dollar exchange rate against the Russian ruble decreased by 1.7%). 

StoneX Reduces Global Sugar Surplus Estimate to 5M MT in 2022/23 (Feb 1)

The 2022/23 global sugar harvest (October 2022 to September 2023) should register a surplus of 5M MT, estimates StoneX consultancy. Volume is slightly below the 5.18M projected in November 2022 for the cycle. According to the consultancy, the adjustment reflects the uncertain scenario for production in India, which should not exceed the total recorded in 2021/22. The situation in India puts the sugar market on high alert, given the possibility of a reduction in world supply. The consultancy foresees production of 35.8M MT by India in the 2023/24 cycle, the same volume as in the 2021/22 season. 

Sugar Rises Again in International Markets and Approaches a 6-Year High (Feb 3)

On Feb 2, India's harvest balance indicated that the country produced 21.6M MT of sugar since the beginning of the current harvest, which took place on October 1st. In accumulated terms, the harvest is 6% higher than that registered in the same period of the previous season. In Brazil, the concerns are related to the flow of national production, since, according to the executive president of trading Alvean, the country is experiencing a logistical bottleneck, with sugar competing in ports, highways and railways, with an abundant grain harvest. In New York, on ICE Futures, Thursday was high in all lots of raw sugar. The March/23 maturity was contracted at USD 477.52/MT (21.66 cents per pound), an appreciation of 29 points, 1.4%, compared to the previous day's prices. The May/23 screen rose 27 points, trading at USD 449. 52/MT (20.39 cts/lb). The other contracts were valued between 24 and 36 points.

Analysts Predict a Global Sugar Shortage in 2023 (Feb 4)

The global sugar deficit in FY 2023/24 is estimated at 1.01M MT. This will mark the end of a three-year period of surplus in the market. This forecast was presented by the Australian analytical agency Green Pool for the 2023/24 season. Global production is projected to fall, particularly in India, Pakistan and the European Union. At the same time, consumption is expected to grow, albeit at a slower pace than in the previous season.


White Sugar Has Become More Expensive in the EU (Feb 2)

The average world market price of white sugar in December 2022 was USD 563.42/MT (525 euros), an increase of 1.3% compared to November. On the London Mercantile Exchange (LIFFE), the front-month white sugar quotation fell from USD 561/MT on January 17 to USD 546/MT on January 20, and then rose to USD 562/MT on January 27. The front-month quote for raw sugar was USD 444/MT at the beginning of the examined period, and then settled at USD 462/MT by the end of the period.

Sugar Has Risen in Price by 50-60% Per Year (Feb 3)

According to experts, the rise in prices for sugar will continue. Sugars in the EU countries have risen in price by an average of 20-30% over the year against the backdrop of the energy crisis. At the same time, sugar prices in some countries increased by 50-60%. Local factories are reducing production, and exporters are cutting supplies of this product. Food inflation in the EU in December amounted to 18.2%, and in the eurozone, 16.2%. The highest rates of price growth were noted in Hungary, almost 50%, followed by Lithuania, 33.5%, followed by Estonia, 30.8%. According to the December data of the European Commission, last year sugar prices in Estonia doubled, in the Czech Republic by 98.9%, in Poland by 87.4%, in Germany by 63%, in Italy and Spain by 51% and in France by 23%. This was partly due to the low sugar beet harvest in Europe. According to Südzucker, the continent's largest sugar producer, the area devoted to growing sugar beets has dropped by 4% this year.


Data Analysis: Brazil (Pernambuco) Wholesale Sugar Ends January Higher at USD 0.6/KG (Jan 30)

Brazil (Pernambuco) / Wholesale Sugar ended January higher, rising 2% over the week to finish at USD 0.6/kg. The rise in the price has been driven by fund buying and a somehow bleak outlook for sugar output. Sugar production in Maharashtra State in India is set to decrease by 7% in the current 2022/23 season. This would hurt exports from the top producer country India and make the market tight. In Brazil, sugarcane production in the center-south of the country for the first half of January came up to 0.44M MT as not many mills are in operation. Progressing through the first quarter, prices may keep elevated on some technical momentum.

Brazil Will Again Be the Biggest Sugar Producer in 2023/24 (Jan 30)

Czarnikow, a British food and services trading company believes that the Center-South of Brazil will produce 36.3M MT of sugar in the 2023/24 harvest, while India should produce 35.5M MT. If the projection is confirmed, Brazil will once again take the title of the world's largest sugar producer, which was held by the Indian country in the last two years.

Perspective of World Deficit Above 1M MT Makes Sugar Prices (Feb 1)

The international sugar market closed the last business day of January hitting a six-year high on ICE Futures in New York, with the perspective that the commodity ends the year with a deficit of just over 1M MT, reversing the three years followed by surplus. The fall in production of the sweetener takes into account problems with the second largest producer of the commodity in the world, India, which should produce around 34 M MT of sugar in the 2022/23 harvest, "a drop of 7% compared to the previous forecast". Another factor that has been weighing on the international sugar market is the possibility of the return of taxes on fuels in Brazil, which would favor the production of ethanol, to the detriment of sugar.


Sugar Mills in India Close Early as Rain Affects Sugarcane Supply (Jan 30)

The western state of Maharashtra, which accounts for more than a third of the country's sugar production, could produce 12.8M MT of sugar in 2022/23 starting on October 1, down from previous forecasts, 13.8M MT. Lower sugar production could prevent India from allowing more sugar exports, leading to a reduction in global price support and an opportunity for rivals Brazil and Thailand to increase exports. India, the world's second largest sugar exporter, has only allowed sugar mills to export 6.1M MT of sweetener in the current crop year. Among them, factories have signed contracts to export up to 5.7M MT(accounting for 93.4% of the quota). Gaikwad said, "too much rain has reduced the growth of sugarcane. This year the sugarcane is lower to be able to squeeze." Some factories in the central region of the state could start shutting down after 15 days, he said.

Sugar Starts Week High on Concerns About Indian Crop and Its Impact on Exports (Jan 31)

Sugar started the week on a high on international exchanges, driven mainly by concerns about the progress of the Indian harvest, the world's second largest producer of the commodity. The market predicts that the crop failure in India's largest producing state, Maharashtra, may affect the initial prospects for sugar exports from that country. In New York, on ICE Futures, the March/23 lot of raw sugar closed up 25 points, with the commodity traded at USD 467.60/MT (21.21 cents per pound). During the session, the batch reached USD 470.25/MT (21.33 cts/lb). On the other hand, the May/23 canvas rose 29 points, contracted at USD 438.72/MT (19.90 cts/lb). The other contracts rose between 17 and 29 points. In London, white sugar contracts also closed higher on Jan 31. The March/23 batch was contracted on Jan 30 at USD 568.70/MT, an appreciation of USD 6.30 compared to Jan 27 prices. The May/23 canvas appreciated by USD 7.20, trading at USD 560.70/MT. Other maturities increased between USD 5.20 and USD 6.80.

India Is Likely to Cap Sugar Exports, Tightening Global Supplies (Jan 31)

India, the world’s second-biggest sugar grower, will likely cap exports at a little over 6M MT this season, exacerbating concerns about tight supplies that have pushed global prices to a more than six-year high. Exports will total 6.1M MT in the current crop year that started Oct 1, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association, which cut its forecast from 9M MT. This may signal that the government, which already allowed 6M MT to be shipped this season, is unlikely to approve additional volumes. 

ISMA Lowers India’s 2022/23 Sugar Production Estimate by 6.8% (Jan 31)

Industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA)on Jan 31 revised its sugar production estimate for 2022/23 down by 6.84% over its earlier estimate issued in October. It has now pegged the country's sugar production at 340 lakh MT after considering diversion of 45 lakh MT of sugar for production of ethanol, down by 25 lakh MT from its previous estimate of 365 lakh MT. ISMA has said that it has revised the production estimate based on the satellite images of harvested and balance area, field visits, current trend of yields and sugar recoveries achieved till now, as also expected yield/sugar recovery in the balance period of the sugar season. According to ISMA, the area planted under sugarcane in the country has increased by 6%. 

United States

Sugar Soars on Supply Concerns From India and Europe (Jan 30)

Sugar futures in New York trade at their highest level since the end of December, amid concerns that lower supply from India and parts of Europe will leave the market tight. Associated British Foods in W5 said UK sugar production will fall by 28% in the current crop year after bad weather hurt beet production.

Sugar Ends W4 With Sharp Rise (Jan 30)

Sugar prices ended the week high on international exchanges, driven by purchases of funds and a decreasing perspective on sugar production in the largest producing state of the commodity in India, "which may reduce exports of the second largest exporter in the world", highlighted analysts. At ICE Futures, in New York, raw sugar, maturing in March/23, was contracted at USD 462.09/MT (20.96 cents per pound), an appreciation of 28 points compared to Jan 26 prices. During the session, the batch was contracted at USD 463.63/MT (21.03 cts/lb). In the week, the commodity registered a gain of 6.3%. The lot May/23 was contracted at USD 432.33/MT (19.61 cts/lb), an appreciation of 29 points. The other contracts rose between 7 and 26 points. In London, on ICE Futures Europe, white sugar also closed higher in all maturities. The March/23 lot was contracted at USD 562.40/MT, an increase of USD 7.40 compared to the day before. On the other hand, the May/23 canvas rose by USD 8.30, trading at USD 553.50/MT. The other contracts rose between USD 3.40 and USD 8.50.

Prices of Sugar, Coffee, and Cocoa Rose on the ICE Exchange (Jan 30)

From January 20 to 27, on the ICE exchange, coffee, sugar and cocoa quotes, after falling last week by 0.05%, increased by 3.09%. The smallest weekly increase occurred in quotations for cocoa, and the largest in coffee quotes. In the first half of January, in the central part and in the south of Brazil, thirteen factories that have not yet stopped their work processed 440K MT of sugar cane. In 2022, by this period, its processing, according to the Unica industrial group, had ceased. In general, 19K MT of sugar were produced; 208.25M liters of ethanol (+43%). 

Raw Sugar Futures Hit Six-Year High on ICE (Feb 1)

Raw sugar futures traded on ICE hit a six-year high on Jan 31, due to ongoing concerns about tight supply, highlighted by a worsening production outlook in India. Raw sugar for March delivery closed up 0.55 cents, 2.6%, at USD 479.73/MT (21.76 cents a pound), after reaching its highest level since the end of 2016 at USD 481.05/MT (21.82 cents a pound). India, the world's second-biggest exporter of sugar, is expected to produce 34M MT of the sweetener in 2022/23 , down 7% from the previous forecast, a top trade body said.

Better Export Sugar at Current Price Before India’s Reality and Brazil’s Crop Hit New York (Feb 2)

At least three things need to be considered in relation to the recurring news about the potential reduction of India's external sugar supply. The government's ban on limiting shipments ends up not being complied with, as happened last year. The highs of the commodity in New York, from this angle, will be returned when the market sees that the country's mills have gained rights to extrapolate the quota. The movement will still end up coinciding with the arrival of the new Brazilian crop. The market bought the 34.3M MT of sugar, against the forecast for the beginning of the harvest of 36M MT, and it was established that there would be no authorization for exports above 6M MT. Even if there is indeed a drop in sugarcane production, due to excessive rainfall, which would compromise the supply of sugar to the levels seen by the association of Indian mills, they will not stop selling more abroad.

US Congressmen Want Law Against Sugar Subsidies, Say Countries Like India Give Billions of Dollars to Support Its Inefficient Sector (Feb 3)

Two US Congressmen have introduced legislation in the US House of Representatives against the subsidies on sugar given by countries including India. Lawmakers Kat Cammack and Dan Kildee argued that these subsidies given by countries like India , Brazil, Russia, Mexico as well as the European Union harm American farmers and the US sugar market. The survival of American sugar producers is threatened by the unfair practices and dumping of cheap sugar subsidized by foreign countries, Congresswoman Cammack alleged. Brazil provides direct and indirect subsidies of at least USD 2.5B/year and India at least USD 1.7B/year to support its inefficient sugar industry. Thailand has more than tripled its sugar exports since 2004 with USD 1.3B/year in subsidies and government price-fixing, said the two US lawmakers in the House of Representatives.


Frost Damage to Belgian Sugar Beet Rises to USD 3.22M (Jan 31)

According to the CBB, 70 percent of Belgian frost damage is compensated by the factories and 30 percent comes from a solidarity fund of the growers themselves. The frost period in early December had dramatic consequences for some beet growers and sugar factories. The freezing and then rapid thawing caused the beets to rot. The covered beets on the heap had an average loss of 6 percent. The beets that are still on the field or that were harvested after the frost have been declared worthless after the processing of 100 hectares of beets by Tiense Suiker. The CBB secretary estimates the total damage caused by the frost at USD 3.22M (3M euros). 


Sugar Reaches USD 875.25/MT in Region 3 of the EU Where Spain Is Located (Jan 31)

The latest report from the EU Sugar Market Observatory has placed the average price of sugar, during November 2022, at USD 667.98/MT (622 euros), gaining 36 from the previous month while, in relation to 2021, the increase is 50 % from the initial USD 444.61/MT (€414). As regards "region 2" in which Brussels encompasses, for example, France and Germany, the average amount has reached USD 631.47/MT (588 euros), after earning USD 23.63 (€22) the previous month. In the inter-annual data, in that area, an increase of 45.1% can be seen from the initial USD 434.94/MT (405 euros) to the USD 631.47/MT (588 euros). Finally, the average price, in November 2022, for "region 3" in which Spain is located, the data reached USD 875.25/MT (815 euros), with an increase of USD 111.69 (104 euros) over October and 64.3% over the same month of 2021, when that figure was USD 532.67/MT (496 euros).


Production of Sugar and Chocolate (Feb 1)

According to Rosstat, the production of white beet sugar in December 2022 amounted to 1.04M MT, which is 16.6% more than in December 2021, but 24.9% less than in November 2022. In 2022, sugar production increased by 1.5% compared to 2021, amounting to 6.02M MT. 185.6K MT of chocolate and confectionery products with sugar were produced in December, which is 2.8% and 6.4% less than in December 2021 and November 2022, respectively. In 2022, the production of chocolate and confectionery products with sugar decreased by 3.7% compared to 2021, amounting to 1.9M MT, the department added.

United Kingdom

The Market Keeps Focusing on India and Sugar Has Another Day of Expressive Increase in the US and UK (Jan 31)

The futures market for sugar ended the day with significant appreciation for prices at terminals in London and New York. The white type rose 2.11% in London, trading at USD 580.70/MT. In New York, the raw type advanced 2.59%, being traded for USD 479.50/MT (21.75 cents/lbp). According to an analysis, the sweetener had one more day of support in supply concerns from India, which recently reported a cut in production estimates, due to weather problems that affected the country's main production areas. It was expected that India would produce 36.5M MT in the current season ending September 30, surpassing last year's record production of 35.8M MT. In addition, India does not intend to allow more exports of the product in the next cycle.


Imports of Sugar Products Amounted to USD 363M During the First 10 Months of 2022 (Jan 30)

The report of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics indicated that Egypt's total imports of sugar and its products amounted to USD 396.942M during the period from January to October 2022. The report indicated that the most important imports were concentrated in the following; White sugar with USD 327.233M, Fructose and lactose sugar with USD 13.910M, Chocolate with USD 12.293M, Black honey and caramel with USD 7.228M, Glucose sugar with USD 5.239M, Sucrose and chemical sugar with USD 2.520M and Gum (gum) with USD 0.616M.


Peru Exported 54.84K MT of Unrefined Sugar to the United States in 2022 (Jan 3)

In 2022, Peru exported 54,836MT of unrefined sugar to the United States, showing an increase of 5.16% compared to the 52,142MT shipped in 2021. This was reported by the Directorate of Economic Studies, of the General Directorate of Agrarian Policies, of the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri), who pointed out that the volume dispatched by Peru in 2022 represented 94.05% of the final quota granted, which amounted to to 58,304MT. The original assigned quota was 43,175MT. 


New Cargo Ship to Boost Trade Between Tanzania and Comoros Islands From February 2023 (Jan 31)

The Tanzanian government will deploy a cargo ship between Mtwara Port and Comoros Islands from February 2023 to boost trade between the two countries. According to Comoros traders, the distance from Comoro to Mtwara is much shorter compared to other sourcing destinations, reducing transportation costs. Some of the goods imported by Comoros include dairy products, cereals, fresh vegetables, meat, rice and sugar.

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