WASHINGTON — The U.S. 2011 carryover projection for sugar was reduced by 4% from January as increased imports were more than offset by lower U.S. cane sugar production and increased domestic food use, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in today’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

U.S. sugar carryover on Oct. 1, 2011, was projected at 1,348,000 short tons, raw value, down 61,000 tons, or 4%, from 1,409,000 tons projected in January and down 155,000 tons, or 10%, from 1,503,000 tons in 2010.
The stocks-to-use ratio was projected at 11.8%, down from 12.6% projected in January and down from 13.3% last year.

U.S. 2010-11 sugar production was projected at 8,010,000 tons, down 100,000 tons from January but up 43,000 tons from 7,967,000 tons last year. Beet sugar outturn was unchanged from January at 4,800,000 tons, but cane sugar production was reduced 100,000 tons, to 3,210,000 tons, based on a like reduction in Florida’s production.

“Hard freezes in late December and January negatively impacted the sugarcane crop in the Everglades region of Florida, leaving portions of some seed cane fields unsalvageable while reducing yields in others,” the U.S.D.A. said in its February Crop Production report.

The U.S.D.A. projected total 2010-11 U.S. sugar imports at 3,245,000 tons, up 239,000 tons from January but down 73,000 tons from 3,318,000 tons last year. Tariff rate quota (T.R.Q.) imports were reduced 50,000 tons from January, to 1,371,000 tons, but “other program” imports were raised 75,000 tons, to 375,000 tons, and imports from Mexico were increased 214,000 tons, to a record 1,459,000 tons, with high-tier imports unchanged at 40,000 tons.

“Imports are increased 239,000 tons, mainly due to the pace of imports to date,” the U.S.D.A. said in the WASDE. “Higher imports from both Mexico and under the re-export program more than offset reduced imports under the T.R.Q.”

Projected 2010-11 U.S. sugar exports were 225,000 tons, up 75,000 tons from January and up 14,000 tons from 2010-11.

Domestic sugar deliveries in 2010-11 were projected at 11,185,000 tons, up 125,000 tons from 11,060,000 tons in January and up 80,000 tons from 11,105,000 tons in 2009-10. The increase was all in food use, projected at 11,000,000 tons, up from 10,875,000 tons in January and from 10,869,000 tons last year.

“The pace of exports and domestic use reported in the Farm Service Agency’s Sweetener Market Data through December are higher than expected, leading to an increase of 200,000 tons in total use,” the U.S.D.A. said.
Total supply in 2010-11 was projected at 12,758,000 tons, up 139,000 tons from January but down 61,000 tons from 12,819,000 tons last year. Total use was projected at 11,410,000 tons, up from 11,210,000 tons in January and up 94,000 tons from 11,316,000 tons last year.

“For Mexico, 2010-11 imports are increased 65,000 tonnes, raw value, matching the increase in U.S. exports,” the U.S.D.A. said. “Domestic use is reduced 106,000 tons to reflect increased substitution by corn sweeteners. Higher imports and lower domestic demand and ending stocks are the basis for raising Mexico’s exports by 194,000 tonnes.”

The U.S.D.A. projected 2010-11 sugar exports from Mexico at 1,332,000 tonnes, up from 1,138,000 tonnes projected in January and up 81% from 737,000 tonnes in 2009-10. Domestic use was projected at 4,629,000 tonnes, down 106,000 tonnes from January. Imports were projected at 290,000 tonnes, up 65,000 tonnes. Ending stocks were projected at 952,000 tonnes, down 23,000 tonnes from January and down 21,000 tonnes from 2009-10.

U.S. high-fructose corn syrup exports to Mexico during the October-November 2010 period were 160,843 tonnes dry weight, up 18% from 136,491 tonnes for the same period last year, the U.S.D.A. said. U.S. HFCS exports for 2009-10 totaled 927,203 tonnes, an average of 77,267 tonnes per month.

“(U.S.) corn used to produce HFCS is projected 15 million bus higher (from January) reflecting strong shipments of the corn-based sweetener to Mexico,” the U.S.D.A. said. “Demand for HFCS has grown in Mexico as sugar exports to the Untied States have increased.”