U.S.D.A. cuts U.S. sugar carryover forecast

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its March 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates projected U.S. sugar carryover on Oct. 1, 2014, at 1,683,000 short tons, raw value, down 142,000 tons, or 8%, from its February projection and down 477,000 tons, or 22%, from 2,160,000 tons on Oct. 1, 2013, which was raised 3,000 tons.

The 2013-14 ending stocks-to-use ratio was projected at 13.6%, down from 14.9% as the February projection and down from 18% as the 2012-13 ratio. The changes were based on minor adjustments to 2013-14 sugar supply and projected larger exports and domestic food use of sugar.

For 2012-13, domestic cane sugar production was raised 1,000 tons with total beet and cane production at 8,981,000 tons. All import figures were unchanged from February. Total supply was raised 1,000 tons to 14,184,000 tons. Total sugar use for 2012-13 was forecast at 12,024,000 tons, down 2,000 tons from February, based on a like decrease in deliveries for food at 11,485,000 tons.

Total 2013-14 U.S. sugar production was projected at 8,715,000 tons, down 10,000 tons from February based on a 15,000-ton reduction in Florida cane sugar production, which was forecast at 1,765,000 tons, only partially offset by a 5,000-ton increase in Hawaiian production, forecast at 190,000 tons.

Total U.S. imports in 2013-14 were projected at 3,184,000 tons, unchanged from February and down 40,000 tons from 3,224,000 tons in 2012-13. Total sugar supply was projected at 14,059,000 tons, down 7,000 tons from February as lower domestic cane sugar production more than offset slightly higher beginning stocks.

Total sugar use for 2013-14 was projected at 12,376,000 tons, up 135,000 tons, or 1%, from February and up 352,000 tons, or 3%, from 2012-13. Projected 2013-14 exports were raised 75,000 tons, or 30%, to 325,000 tons, food use was raised 110,000 tons, or 1%, to 11,600,000 tons, and “other” deliveries were lowered 50,000 tons, or 10%, to 451,000 tons.

“Higher expected domestic deliveries for food use are based on the pace to date,” the U.S.D.A. said. “A larger forecast for exports of refined sugar under the re-export program is the result of shipments so far in 2013-14.”

There were no changes to the U.S.D.A.’s Mexican sugar supply and use estimates of 2012-13 or projections for 2013-14, after significant changes were made in the 2013-14 numbers in February.
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