U.S.D.A. lowers U.S. sugar ending stocks slightly

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its Jan. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates projected 2014-15 U.S. sugar ending stocks at 1,666,000 short tons, raw value, down 9,000 tons from its December projection and down 130,000 tons, or 7%, from 1,796,000 tons in 2013-14.

The 2014-15 ending stocks-to-use ratio decreased from 13.7% in December to 13.6%. The 2013-14 ratio was unchanged from December at 14.3%.

There were no revisions to U.S. or Mexican sugar supply or use estimates for 2013-14, which ended Sept. 30, 2014. There also were no changes to U.S. sugar production or use forecasts for 2014-15.

Total 2014-15 U.S. sugar imports were projected at 3,504,000 tons, down 9,000 tons from December and down 238,000 tons, or 6%, from 3,742,000 tons in 2013-14.

“Imports from Mexico are decreased by 22,419 short tons, raw value, to 1,602,000 tons,” the U.S.D.A. said. “This total is based on the Target Quantity of U.S. Needs defined in the Agreement Suspending Countervailing Duty Investigations on Sugar from Mexico, effective Dec. 19, 2014. This agreement is assumed to be part of official U.S. government policy limiting sugar imports from Mexico. Imports entering under the Caribbean/Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement are increased 13,007 short tons, raw value, increasing total sugar tariff-rate quota imports to 1,492,000 tons.”

For Mexico, 2014-15 sugar production was estimated at 6,151,000 tonnes, actual weight, up 11,000 tonnes from the December forecast but down 130,000 tonnes, or 2%, from 6,021,000 tonnes in 2013-14. Exports were projected at 1,696,000 tonnes, down 19,000 tonnes from December and down 815,000 tonnes, or 32%, from 2,511,000 tonnes in 2013-14. Ending stocks for the current year were forecast at 955,000 tonnes, up 31,000 tonnes, or 3%, from December and up 124,000 tonnes, or 15%, from 831,000 tonnes in 2013-14. The production increase was based on the first estimate from Mexico’s Conadesuca, the U.S.D.A. said.
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