Fao Agriculture Outlook - Sugar
Pages: 23 (5543 words) /
Published: May 7th, 2013
The world sugar market continues to experience considerable price volatility. The world indicator price for raw sugar witnessed a succession of peaks and downward corrections in 2010 before soaring to a 30-year high of USD 36.08 cts/lb (USD 795.4/t) in February 2011. Market fundamentals driving volatile prices were large global sugar deficits in the previous two seasons and adverse weather in a number of countries that reduced the size of the expected rebound in production to higher prices (Figure 6.1). World sugar stocks, which had already been drawn down, fell to their lowest level in 20 years in 2010-11, supporting higher as well as more volatile market prices. International sugar prices are expected to ease back over the remainder of 2011 and into 2011/12, as production responds around the world to recent high prices and the global balance moves into a larger surplus that allows the start of stock rebuilding.
The raw sugar price (Intercontinental Exchange No. 11 spot, fob, Caribbean ports) in nominal terms is projected at nearly USD 408/t (USD 18.5 c/lb.) in 2020-21. This is lower than the historical peak at the start of the Outlook, but prices are expected to remain on a higher plateau and to average higher in real terms (when adjusted for inflation) over the projection period, when compared with the last decade. White sugar prices (Euronet, Liffe, Contract No, 407, London) follow a similar pattern and are projected to reach USD 508/t (USD 23cts/lb.) in 2020-21, with the white sugar premium narrowing with higher export volumes to average above USD 90/t over the coming decade (Figure 6.2). Brazil’s sugar production, as one of the lowest cost sugar producers with considerable capacity to expand sugar cane area on a large scale, along with the projected growth in ethanol production, will be key determinants of