USDA predicts tighter sugar supplies this year

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its April 8 report on global agricultural supply and demand estimates, lowered its forecast for U.S. sugar production in 2021 from March- 22, slightly increased imports and increased domestic deliveries, leading to tighter supply and an end of inventories at a 12.5% ​​utilization rate from 13.6% in March and 13.8 % in 2020-21.

The USDA projects total domestic sugar production for 2021-22 at 9,309,000 tons, down 75,000 tons, or 0.8%, from its March forecast, with beet sugar at 5,338,098 tonnes, down 50,670 tonnes, or 0.9%, and cane sugar at 3,971,000 tonnes, down. 25,000 tonnes, or 0.6%.

“About half of the reduction (in beet sugar) is attributable to Michigan’s expected lower production due to the increase in beet heap shrinkage reported by processors this month and at least sugar beets imported from Canada for processing than originally anticipated,” the USDA said. “With production in the Red River Valley region set to last exceptionally long until the first week of June, production is being reduced slightly to reflect the increased risk for sugar beets stored in increasingly hot conditions. . Additionally, production in California is expected to be slightly lower than originally forecast. »

Trade sources said Michigan’s shortfall alone could be around 50,000 tons. If realized, the USDA forecast for beet sugar and total sugar production would still be at a record high, although some industry sources expect beet numbers to decline in the coming months.

Imports were forecast at 3,058,000 tonnes, up 14,662 tonnes from March due to a similar increase in high-level imports, forecast at 190,000 tonnes “based on raw sugar entries over the past first two months of 2022”. Higher-level refined sugar imports remained unchanged from March.

Total sugar supply for 2021-22 was forecast at 14,072,000 tonnes, down 60,343 tonnes from March.

Deliveries in 2021-22 were forecast at 12,470,000 tonnes, up 65,000 tonnes from March due to a similar increase in food deliveries, forecast at 12,365,000 tonnes” based on strong deliveries. to date by beet processors and higher than expected direct consumption of imports until the end of February.

Closing stocks in 2021-22 were forecast at 1,567,000 tonnes, down 125,000 tonnes, or 7%, from 1,692,000 tonnes in March and down 138,000 tonnes, or 8%, from to 1,705,000 tonnes in 2020-21.

No changes were made to the estimates for 2020-2021, neither for the United States nor for Mexico.

USDA forecasts 2021-22 sugar production in Mexico at 6,166,690 tonnes, actual weight, up 187,690 tonnes, or 3.1%, from March and up 452,000 tonnes, or 8% , compared to 2020-21.

“Analysis of production data through week 26 (March 26) of the campaign implies that sugarcane yield and sucrose recovery are likely to be higher than expected, but harvested area is likely to be lower than expected. ‘about 10,000 hectares,’ the USDA said. CONADESUCA projects sugar production of 6,174,813 tons for 2021-22, based on higher harvested area and lower yield than USDA forecast.

Mexico’s sugar imports and domestic use in 2021-22 remained unchanged from March. Exports to countries other than the United States were forecast at 1,939,000 tons, up 187,690 tons from March, with shipments to the United States unchanged. Forecast ending stocks for 2021-22 remained unchanged at 919,000 tonnes.

Rachel J. Bradford