U.S. sugar supply, carryover soar

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates projected U.S. sugar carryover on Oct. 1, 2013, at 2,216,000 short tons, raw value, up 658,000 tons, or 42%, from 1,558,000 tons as the October projection and up 209,000 tons, or 10%, from 2,007,000 tons estimated for 2012, which was raised 304,000 tons, or 18%, from 1,703,000 tons in October.

Domestic deliveries were projected at 11,590,000 tons for 2012-13, down 45,000 tons from 11,635,000 tons in October but up 375,000 tons from a downwardly revised 11,215,000 tons in 2011-12. Deliveries for food were projected at 11,380,000 tons for this year, down 45,000 tons from October and compared with a downwardly revised 11,042,000 tons in 2011-12. Exports were forecast at 275,000 tons, unchanged from October and up slightly from 269,000 tons in 2011-12. Total sugar use in 2012-13 was projected at 11,865,000 tons, down 45,000 tons from October but up 381,000 tons, or 3%, from 11,484,000 tons last year.

The ending stocks-to-use ratio soared to a projected 18.7% for 2012-13, up from 13.1% in October and compared with 17.5% for 2011-12, which was up from 14.6% estimated last month.

Stocks-to-use ratios for both years are above the top end of the U.S.D.A.’s “target” range of 13% to 15%.
Domestic sugar production was forecast at 8,825,000 tons for 2012-13, up 75,000 tons from 8,750,000 tons forecast in October, due to a like increase forecast for Louisiana cane sugar production of 1,500,000 tons. Total cane sugar production was forecast at 3,720,000 tons for 2012-13, up 75,000 tons from October, and beet sugar at 5,105,000 tons, unchanged from October.

Domestic sugar production in 2011-12, which ended Sept. 30, 2012, was estimated at 8,482,000 tons, up 82,000 tons from October, including 4,894,000 tons of beet sugar, up 69,000 tons, and 3,588,000 tons of cane sugar, up 13,000 tons.

Total sugar imports in 2012-13 were projected at 3,249,000 tons, up 233,000 tons from 3,016,000 tons forecast in October but down 382,000 tons from 3,631,000 tons in 2011-12, which was raised 36,000 tons from October. Tariff-rate quota imports were projected at 1,289,000 tons in 2012-13, down 99,000 tons from October and down 594,000 tons from 1,883,000 tons in 2011-12. Duty free imports from Mexico were forecast at 1,500,000 tons, up 332,000 tons from October and up 429,000 tons from 1,071,000 tons in 2011-12.

In its November Crop Production report, also released Nov. 9, the U.S.D.A. estimated 2012 U.S. sugar beet production at 34,946,000 tons, down 2% from 35,597,000 tons estimated in October but up 21% from 28,828,000 tons in 2011.

Sugar cane production in 2012 was forecast at 32,120,000 tons, up 3% from 31,277,000 tons estimated in October and up 9% from 29,383,000 tons last year.

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