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Global Sugar Prices Expected to Decline Amid Hopes of Increased Production


Published Date: June 08, 2024
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In anticipation of increased output, there will probably be pressure on sugar prices globally for the rest of the current season, which ends in September, as well as for the upcoming season. At present, the price of raw sugar has fallen to an 18-month low on the InterContinental Exchange, New York, of 18.81 cents a pound (₹34,875/tonne) for futures expiring in July. Since the middle of last month, prices have been circling this mark.

Looking to Sugar Exporters ? In contrast, after an El Niño-affected season, Thailand's production is expected to rebound strongly, rising 16.4% year over year to 10.2 mt. It stated that while India's production is expected to continue below historical patterns, it is expected to slightly grow in 2024–2025.

Production Outlook Raised

The AISTA Chairman, Praful Vithalani, claims that the reason for the decline in sugar prices worldwide is that importing nations are staying away and fund houses are taking short positions. The World Bank recorded a 17% decline in sugar prices in December 2023, which persisted until early 2024. This was attributed to enhanced output in Brazil and advantageous meteorological conditions. In 2023–24, BMI increased its projection for worldwide output to 182.9 mt, a 3.7% increase over the previous year. Vithalani reported that, compared to 2022–2023; the difference between production and consumption was 4.2 mt in 2023–2024.

Huge rise in Brazil

The latests report from UNICA (Brazil Sugar Association) revealed that sugarcane crushing in Center-South Brazil stood at 34.6 mt over the second part of April, in contrast to 21.4 mt during the same period a year ago, according to ING Think, the economic and financial analysis arm of Dutch multinational financial services firm ING.

As of April's end, the season's total sugarcane crush increased 43.4% year over year (YoY) to 50.6 mt. According to Vithalani, the massive rise in sugar production in Brazil is one factor contributing to the increased worldwide production despite decreased production in Thailand and India. Brazil produced 45.5 mt of sugar in 2023–24, up from 38 mt in 2022–23. The AISTA president predicts that it will remain strong at 44 million tonnes in 2019.

Price forecast

According to the World Bank, India and Thailand's supply of sugar will be eased by El Niño's fading in early 2024, which will result in price decreases of 3% and 8% in 2024 and 2025, respectively. A significant amount of pricing pressure has caused BMI to cut its 2024 sugar price projection from 23.5 cents to 21 cents. The world's sugar consumption is expected to grow by a small 0.5% annually to 178.8 mt in 2023–2024 and 179.7 mt in 2024–2025.

Conclusion

In conclusion, rising production in strategic areas is predicted to drive down worldwide sugar costs. Futures for raw sugar have stabilised at 18.81 cents per pound, an 18-month low. Production is expected to rise in Thailand and India, but India's output is expected to remain below historical levels. Brazil's output and crushing of sugarcane have increased significantly, according to reports. In light of this, the World Bank and BMI have modified their projections and now anticipate additional price declines in 2024 and 2025. In general, more supply should keep prices low in the near future.

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