U.S.D.A. boosts sugar ending stocks

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its June 11 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates projected U.S. sugar carryover on Oct. 1, 2015, at 1,910,000 short tons, raw value, up 811,000 tons, or 74%, from 1,099,000 tons projected in May and up 53,000 tons, or 3%, from an upwardly revised 1,857,000 tons forecast as the carryover on Oct. 1, 2014.

The 2014-15 ending stocks-to-use ratio shot from 9.1% in May to 15.8% in June, and the 2013-14 ratio was raised from 12.9% in May to 15% this month. The ratios for both years now fall near the U.S.D.A. targeted range of 15% seen as the level needed for adequate sugar supplies.

Nearly all of the increased supply was attributed to imports, with the vast majority from Mexico for both this and next year. U.S. estimated 2013-14 and projected 2014-15 sugar use numbers (including exports and domestic deliveries) all were unchanged from the May forecasts.

For the current year the U.S.D.A. estimated domestic sugar production at 8,490,000 tons, up 10,000 tons from May based on a like increase in Texas cane sugar production. Imports for 2013-14 were forecast at 3,585,000 tons, up 251,000 tons, or 7.5%, from May based on a 100,000-ton increase in “other program” imports at 210,000 tons, and a 151,000-ton increase (8%) in imports from Mexico at 1,996,000 tons.

Although total exports of sugar from Mexico were lowered due to a 250,000-tonne cut in 2013-14 sugar production, exports to the United States were raised “based on the pace to date” while shipments to the rest of the world were reduced, the U.S.D.A. said.

Total 2013-14 U.S. sugar supply was forecast at 14,233,000 tons, up 261,000 tons, or 2%, from May and up 49,000 tons from 2012-13. Ending stocks were forecast at 1,857,000 tons, up 16% from May but down 14% from 2012-13.

For 2014-15, the U.S.D.A. projected domestic sugar production at 8,355,000 tons, down 140,000 tons from May, based on a like reduction in cane sugar production at 3,605,000 tons (80,000-ton cut in Florida and a 60,000-ton cut in Louisiana). Beet sugar production was unchanged from May at 4,750,000 tons.

Projected imports for the year that begins Oct. 1, 2014, were raised 690,000 tons, or 22%, from May at 3,783,000 tons. Tariff rate quote imports were left at the World Trade Organization commitment minimum of 1,262,000 tons. Imports from Mexico were projected at 2,111,000 tons, up 690,000 tons, or 49%, from May and just 13,000 tons shy of the record 2,124,000 tons in 2012-13. Total 2014-15 sugar supply was projected at 13,995,000 tons, up 811,000 tons, or 6%, from May but down 238,000 tons, or 2%, from 2013-14.

Sugar production in Mexico in 2013-14 was forecast at 6.1 million tonnes, actual weight, down 250,000 tonnes, or 4%, from May. Total exports were estimated at 2,278,000 tonnes, down 121,000 tonnes, or 5%, and ending stocks were forecast at 818,000 tonnes, down 129,000 tonnes, or 14%, from the May forecast.

For 2014-15, Mexican sugar production was unchanged from May at 6.5 million tonnes, imports were unchanged at 226,000 tonnes and domestic use was unchanged at 4.69 million tonnes. Beginning stocks were raised 129,000 tonnes, exports were reduced 129,000 tonnes and ending stocks for 2014-15 were unchanged from May at 947,000 tonnes.
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