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W7: Weekly Sugar Update

Updated Feb 21, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W7 in the global sugar landscape. In summary, the EU sugar imports from third countries totaled 697K MT, up 40% compared to the same period of the previous year. Brazilian sugar fixing for the 2023/24 harvest reached 3.35M MT between December and January. In Maharashtra, India, sugar production is expected to drop from 13.7M MT in 2021/22 to 12.4M MT in 2022/23 due to continuous rains. In the US, sugar beet growers expect good yields in the current season which will offset the low production of sugarcane in the South. Lastly, South African sugar industry aims to put a master plan into action which will ensure that 95% of sugar comes from local procurement and that domestic demand will double from 150K MT to 300K MT by 2023.


The EU Remains a Clear Net Importer of Sugar (Feb 13)

According to the EU Commission, from October 2022 to January 17, 2023, the EU imported a total of 697K MT of sugar from third countries. This is about 40% more than in the same period of the previous year. In November and December 2022, large quantities of sugar were imported under preferential import quotas. Sugar also came to the EU from Ukraine. The most important recipients were Poland and Romania. EU sugar import quotas under the World Trade Organization (WTO) were used faster than in previous seasons, as a result of imports by mid-January which totaled 422K MT, thus, the amount that has already been used is 58%.


Sugar Price Fixing for Brazil’s 23/24 Crop Reaches 3.35M MT Between December and January (Feb 13)

The plants that produce sugar in Brazil fixed 3.35M MT of the 2023/24 harvest (April-March) between December 2022 and January 2023, according to an estimate by Archer Consulting released at the end of W6. The equivalent average price of fixings in the period was USD 464.18/MT FOB (BRL 2.4). Accumulated fixings, up to January 31, totaled 18M MT at an average price of USD 387.35/MT, excluding a polarization premium, equivalent to a fixing percentage of 75% of the estimated export volume for the 2023/24 harvest.

White Crystal Sugar Indicator Reacts in the São Paulo Spot Market (Feb 14)

The average prices of white crystal sugar practiced on the spot market in the state of São Paulo rose again over the past week. As monitored by the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics (Cepea), at Esalq-USP, values ​​have been moving downwards since the beginning of 2023. The Cepea researchers indicate that support came from the restricted offer of Icumsa up to 180 and from slightly more heated demand. Another factor that influenced the increase in the price of a bag of crystal was the appreciation of the dollar against the real.

Brazil: Weekly Sugar Line-up From Brazil Rises to 1.24M MT in 36 Vessels (Feb 17)

Brazil's sugar line-up, and schedule of shipments through ports, registered 1.24M MT in the week up to February 15, over 1.02M MT in the previous week, with 1.15M MT of VHP, according to the Williams maritime agency. Total ships for the period were 36, up from 30 the week before. Most of the schedule was related to the Port of Santos, with 937.99K MT, followed by Paranaguá with 96.50K MT, according to data released by the company.

The Climate in Brazil and Tight Supply in the Short Term Favor Sugar Prices (Feb 17)

The climate in Brazil, the largest sugar producer in the world, combined with the tight supply in the short term has pressured sugar prices on the international market. On Feb 16, the New York (raw sugar) and London (white sugar) stock exchanges closed with gains in all lots. On ICE Futures, the expiration of March/23 was contracted on Feb 16 at USD 472.89/MT, an increase of 7 points, up 0.3% compared to the prices of the previous day. The May/23 screen rose 5 points, trading at USD 435.85/MT. The other contracts rose between 2 and 6 points.

United States

Sugar Beet Guarantees Sugar Production in the US (Feb 13)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that the good yields reported by US sugar beet growers in the current season will offset the not-good numbers from sugar cane suppliers in the South and will ensure high levels of sugar production for the country. The USDA raised its estimate for feed production in its monthly supply and demand report to 5.1M short tons (TC) from 5.04M in the previous report, saying sugar beet yields in the top five regions exceeded 10-year averages.

Raw Sugar Hits New Six-Year High on Ice Amid Supply Constraints (Feb 13)

ICE raw sugar futures rose on Feb 10 to hit a six-year high as the market continued to be supported by tight supply concerns. Raw sugar for March delivery rose by USD 0.13, up 0.6%, to USD 475.76/MT. The contract for the first month rose to a six-year high of USD 482.59/MT earlier in the session and gained 1.6% for the week.

Raw Sugar Prices Are Expected to Drop 12% In 2023 With Increased Production in Brazil (Feb 14)

Raw sugar prices are set to ease towards the end of 2023, after a six-year peak in early February, as production is likely to rise mainly in south-central Brazil. Raw sugar futures on the ICE exchange are expected to end 2023 at USD 407.85/MT, down 12% from Feb’s 13 close, according to the survey's median forecast. ICE white sugar prices are expected to end this year at USD 520/MT, down 7% from Feb's 13 close. The survey consensus was for a global surplus of 4.2M MT for the 2023/24 season (October to September), against a surplus of 3.25M MT expected in the current crop year.

With the Adjustment of Positions, Sugar Rises Again Feb 14 Session in New York and London (Feb 14)

Sugar futures prices rose moderately to significantly on Feb 14 morning on the New York and London stock exchanges. The market has support from the adjustment of positions after losses recorded the day before with information from Thailand and financials. At around 8:32 am (Brasília time), raw sugar appreciated by 0.71% in the main contract on the New York Stock Exchange (ICE Futures US), quoted at USD 436.96/MT. At the London terminal, the retreat was 1.25%, at USD 566.00/MT.

Sugar Futures Contracts Start W7 in Decline (Feb 14)

In New York, on ICE Futures, the batch of raw sugar maturing in March/23 was contracted at USD 467.38/MT, down 38 points compared to Feb's 10 prices. The May/23 lot dropped 36 points, trading at USD 433.87/MT (19.68 cts/lb). The other contracts retreated between 15 and 28 points. In London, on ICE Futures Europe, white sugar retreated by USD 7.80 at maturity March/23, contracted at USD 563.00/MT. The May/23 canvas was traded on Feb 13 at USD 559.00/MT, a devaluation of USD 7.90. The other contracts fell between USD 4.90 and USD 6.80. Traders told Reuters that the market continued to receive support from the tight supply, which is expected to persist at least until the beginning of the second quarter of this year.


Thailand Is Expected to Produce 11.5M MT of Sugar in 2023 (Feb 13)

According to Samart Noiwan, OCSB's director of planning and strategy, Thailand is expected to produce 11.5M MT of sugar and squeeze 106M MT of sugarcane by the end of March. Thailand consumes 2.5M MT of sugar every year. This year's sugarcane output has returned to 100M MT for the first time since 2019 as favorable global prices spur farmers to plant more along with just enough rainfall for crops to grow. In the crop year 2021/22, the country produced 10.15M MT of sugar, pressed 92.07M MT of sugarcane, and exported 7.69M MT of sugar.


Compensation to Beet Growers for the Ban on Neonicotinoids (Feb 17)

After protests by beet growers, French Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau announced that the government wants to compensate farmers for crop losses due to the ban on the use of neonicotinoids. A plan to support growers and sugar factories will be announced soon. Compensation, however, will not change anything in the long run, so at the same time, the French government is to demand clear solutions at the European level. The French intend to persuade Brussels to enforce the decision of the ECJ in all member states, or to withdraw the ban on neonicotinoids. Minister Fesneau also announced support for research that will accelerate work on new technical methods of beet protection.


Completion of the Processing of Sugar Beets Harvested in 2022 (Feb 14)

In Russia, the processing of sugar beets harvested in 2022 is being completed, two of the 65 plants are now operating, in the Tambov region and the Altai Territory, Soyuzrossahar said. By February 13, 43.2M MT of beets were processed and 5.88K MT of beet sugar were produced, which is 8.2% (450K MT) more than on the same date in 2022. As reported, according to the IKAR forecast, Russia this season (August 2022 - July 2023) will increase the production of beet sugar by 11.8% YoY, to 6.35M MT.


Sugar Imports From Thailand Suddenly Skyrocketed (Feb 16)

Sugar imports in January 2023 experienced a surge. The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded that this increase in sugar imports occurred both in January 2023 and December 2022. Quoting data on imports of certain food commodities from BPS, imports of sugar at the beginning of this year were 537.06M kg, up 6.12% compared to January 2022 which were 506.07M kg. Meanwhile, when compared to December 2022 which was 312.89M kg, sugar imports in January 2023 had increased by as much as 71.64%. Based on the country of origin, most of Indonesia's sugar imports that month came from Thailand, amounting to 414.55M kg, up 50.53% compared to January 2022 (YoY) which was 275.39M kg.

United Kingdom

Sugar Advances on the Stock Exchanges in New York, Us and London, UK With Financial Support (Feb 16)

Sugar futures contracts ended Feb 16 session with a slight increase recorded on the New York and London stock exchanges. The market had financial support, in addition to fears about the global harvest, mainly due to India. In fundamentals, however, there is pressure coming from the crop in the Center-South of Brazil and Thailand. The most traded month of raw sugar on the New York Stock Exchange rose 0.25% to USD 435.53/MT, with a high of USD 439.60/MT and a low of USD 432.55/MT. On the London Stock Exchange, the first contract was up 0.28%, at USD 567.60/MT. The sugar market even rose stronger than the closing this Thursday, but reduced gains with the devaluation of oil.

South Africa

Sugar Tax Threatens Over 9K Jobs in South Africa (Feb 13)

South Africa’s sugar industry risks losing as much as 16% of its cane-growing area and more than a 10th of farm-level jobs if the government raises a levy on sugar-sweetened drinks and expands the tax to other products, according to a new report. As much as 53.8K ha of cane-growing land, an area about the size of Guam, and 9.15K jobs may be shed through 2031 due to higher and more broad-ranging taxes that sap local demand for refined sugar, tariff-free imports from neighboring Eswatini, and increased production costs, according to a paper by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy. The report was commissioned by the South African Sugar Association. The industry is facing a crisis partly due to a flood of cheap imports, with annual production dropping by almost a quarter over the past two decades and the number of sugarcane farmers falling by 60%.

Sugar Industry in South Africa Making Progress on Implementing Master Plan (Feb 16)

The advent of the Sugarcane Master Plan has been a crucial intervention aimed at stabilizing the sugar industry and putting it on an upward growth trajectory, especially as it has been impacted negatively by recent events, says the South African Sugar Association (SASA). The ambitious plan has sought to ensure that 95% of sugar comes from local procurement and that local demand will double from 150K MT to 300K MT by 2023. SASA reports that the industry managed to restore 170K MT of sugar demand in the local market, against a target of 150K MT in Year 1 of Phase 1 of the Master Plan. Phase 1 of the plan comes to an end in March after three years. Overall, Phase 1 was aimed at restoring 300K MT of sugar demand in the local market over three years, but this target will be missed by 20K MT, come to the end of March.

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