U.S.D.A. forecasts record U.S. sugar production

by Ron Sterk
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U.S. Sugar Production chart
 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its Dec. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report forecast U.S. beet sugar production in 2017-18 at a record 5,359,000 short tons, raw value, up 409,256 tons, or 8%, from the November projection and up 5% from 5,103,000 tons in 2016-17, which was raised 2,000 tons from November.

“Recovery of sucrose from sliced sugar beets for the first three months of the August/July crop year from the Sweetener Market Data report provides the first empirically-based estimate of full crop year recovery,” the U.S.D.A. said. “That recovery is projected at 15.4%, in line with recent historical records.”

Including production from de-sugared molasses, total 2017-18 beet sugar production was projected at 5,530,000 tons, the U.S.D.A. said.

Total sugar production for 2017-18 was projected record high at 9,245,000 tons, up 409,000 tons from November with cane sugar unchanged at 3,886,000 tons. The previous beet sugar record was 5,119,000 tons in 2015-16 and the prior total sugar record was 9,032,000 tons in 1999-00.

U.S. sugar carryover on Oct. 1, 2018, was forecast at 1,802,000 tons, up 27,000 tons, or 1.5%, from November but down 34,000 tons, or 2%, from 1,836,000 tons estimated for 2017. The 2017-18 ending stocks-to-use ratio was revised up to 14.3% from 14.1% in November but was below 14.8% as the ratio for 2016-17.

Only minor adjustments were made to 2016-17 supply and use estimates.

For 2017-18, total U.S. sugar imports were projected at 3,326,000 tons, down 384,452 tons, or 10%, from November but up 82,000 tons, or 2.5%, from 3,244,000 tons last year. Tariff-rate quota imports were projected at 1,798,000 tons, up 42,000 tons from November and up 187,000 tons, or 12%, from 1,611,000 tons in 2016-17. Imports from Mexico were forecast at 1,268,000 tons, down 426,000 tons, or 25%, from November but up 67,000 tons, or 6%, from 1,201,000 tons last year.

Total supply in 2017-18 was forecast at 14,407,000 tons, up 27,000 tons from November and up 140,000 tons, or 1%, from 14,267,000 tons last year.

Projected use for 2017-18 was unchanged from November at 12,605,000 tons, including 12,400,000 tons for food.

For Mexico, 2017-18 beginning stocks, production and imports were unchanged. Domestic use was projected at 4,972,000 tonnes, actual weight, up 60,000 tonnes from November, while exports were projected at 1,217,000 tonnes, down 243,000 tonnes. Ending stocks were projected at 1,008,000 tonnes, up 183,000 tonnes, or 22%, from November and up slightly from last year.

For 2016-17, Mexico’s sugar imports were forecast at 93,000 tonnes, down 25,000 tonnes from November, domestic use at 4,851,000 tonnes, down 45,000 tonnes, and exports at 1,234,000 tonnes, up 20,000 tonnes, resulting in ending stocks unchanged at 1,002,000 tonnes.

“Mexico sugar exports to the United States (in 2017-18) are reduced by 364,595 tonnes to 1.085 million, which is the Export Limit set by U.S. Department of Commerce in September 2017 because it exceeds the Target Quantity of U.S. Needs from this WASDE,” the U.S.D.A. said. “Exports to non-U.S. destinations for 2017-18 are residually projected at 131,298 tonnes.”
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