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 March 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates projected 2014-15 U.S. sugar ending stocks at 1,650,000 short tons, raw value, down 16,000 tons, or 1%, from its February projection and down 146,000 tons, or 8%, from 1,796,000 tons in 2013-14.

The 2014-15 ending stocks-to-use ratio decreased from 13.6% in February to 13.5%, the minimum required under the current suspension agreements between the United States and Mexico, which regulate the amount of sugar Mexico can export to the United States, among other things, in lieu of antidumping and countervailing duties of about 56%. The U.S. International Trade Commission is reviewing the agreements. The review must be completed by March 24.

The U.S.D.A. boosted projected 2014-15 U.S. cane sugar production by 35,000 tons, raw value, due to a like increase in Florida’s output. Total U.S. sugar production in 2014-15 was projected at 8,645,000 tons, including 4,870,000 tons of beet sugar and 3,775,000 tons of cane. U.S. imports were projected at 3,428,000 tons, down 76,000 tons from February based on a like decrease in imports from Mexico, projected at 1,526,000 tons. Total supply was projected at 13,868,000 tons, down 42,000 tons from February and down 489,000 tons, or 3.4%, from 14,357,000 tons in 2013-14.

U.S. 2014-15 sugar exports were reduced by 25,000 tons, to 225,000 tons. Domestic deliveries were unchanged from February at 11,994,000 tons, including 11,859,000 tons for food and 135,000 tons for “other.” Total use was projected at 12,219,000 tons, down 25,000 tons from February and down 342,000 tons, or 2.7%, from 12,561,000 tons in 2013-14.

All 2013-14 estimates were unchanged for the United States and Mexico.

Mexican 2014-15 sugar imports were reduced 18,000 tonnes, actual weight, from February, to 174,000 tonnes. Exports were reduced by 65,000 tonnes from February, to 1,631,000 tonnes. Ending stocks were projected at 1,001,000 tonnes, up 46,000 tonnes from February and up 20.5% from 831,000 tonnes in 2013-14.
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