USDA sees higher use of sugar for food

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its March 9 report on estimates of world agricultural supply and demand, increased from February its 2021-22 forecast for sugar deliveries for the supply, but reduced supply slightly by adjusting the ending inventory-to-use ratio to 13.6% .

The USDA forecasts food sugar shipments in 2021-22 at 12,300,000 gross tons, up 100,000 tons, or 0.8%, from the February forecast and up 1. 4% compared to 2020-21. Total sugar deliveries were forecast at 12,440,000 tonnes, up 100,000 tonnes from February, with exports and “other” deliveries unchanged.

“Sugar shipments to the United States for human consumption are increased … based on strong shipments to date from beet processors and higher than expected direct consumption imports through the end of January,” the statement said. USDA. Many trade participants expected the USDA to increase shipments based on the Department’s report on sugar market data and anecdotal reports from the trade.

The USDA projects total domestic sugar production for 2021-22 at a record 9,384,000 tons, down 58,000 tons, or 0.6%, from its February forecast, with beet sugar at 5,389,000 tonnes, down 12,183 tonnes, or 0.2%, and cane sugar at 3,995,680 tonnes, down 45,059 tonnes, or 1.1%.

“Beet sugar production is diminished … on processors’ forecast of lower sucrose extraction and increased beet heap shrinkage,” the USDA said. “Sugar (cane) production in Florida is diminished…based on lower cane yield and sucrose recovery from processors’ analysis of effect of freezes end of January on the harvest.”

Total sugar imports in 2021-22 were forecast at 3,043,041 tonnes, up 31,091 tonnes from February. TRQ imports of raw sugar were increased by 20,591 tons “based on an updated Foreign Agricultural Service analysis of the projected TRQ shortfall,” the USDA said. High tariff imports have been raised by 25,000 tonnes based on strong imports to date. Imports from Mexico were forecast at 1,050,212 tonnes, down 14,500 tonnes from February, a much smaller drop than some had expected, as increased deliveries reduced the reduction needed to that Mexico should reach an inventory-to-use ratio close to 13.5%.

“The calculated U.S. requirement implied by the March 2022 U.S. sugar WASDE, as set forth in the AD/CVD suspension agreements, is 887,843 tonnes (1,037,400 short tons),” the USDA said. “There is an additional export quantity of 10,965 tonnes (12,812 short tons) of the 2020-21 export allocation to Mexico that was cleared by the U.S. Department of Commerce to enter the United States after September 30 (2021).”

Total sugar supply in 2021-22 was forecast at 14,132,000 tonnes, down 26,152 tonnes from February but up around 86,000 tonnes from 2020-21.

“The USDA forecasts an increase in U.S. sugar use in 2021-22 combined with a reduction in supply to reduce ending stocks to 1,692,320 tons for a ending stocks-to-use ratio of 13 .6%,” the USDA said.

If the USDA had reduced the ending inventory-to-use ratio to 13.5%, the minimum allowed under the AD/CVD suspension agreements, supplies would have had to be reduced by approximately another 13,000 tons.

Only minor changes from February have been made to Mexico’s sugar supply and use forecast for 2021-22, with a 4,000 tonne reduction in imports offset by a similar reduction in exports, leaving stocks of closing unchanged at 919,000 tonnes, actual weight.

Rachel J. Bradford