WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its May 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report forecast 2018-19 U.S. sugar production at 8,981,000 short tons, raw value, down 2.9% from a record 9,252,000 tons forecast for 2017-18 and only slightly above 8,969,000 tons in 2016-17.
Beet sugar production for next year was projected at 5,036,000 tons, down 3.5% from a record 5,221,000 tons expected this year, which was raised 82,000 tons from the April forecast. Cane sugar production for next year was forecast at 3,945,000 tons, down 2.1% from 4,031,000 tons this year, which was raised 30,000 tons from April. Florida cane sugar production was forecast at 2,085,000 tons in 2018-19, up from hurricane-reduced outturn of 1,998,000 tons this year, while Louisiana production was forecast at 1,680,000 tons, down from record outturn of 1,859,000 tons this year.
Total imports in 2018-19 were forecast at 3,365,000 tons, down 57,000 tons from 3,422,000 tons this year. Tariff-rate quota imports were forecast at 1,355,000 tons, down 433,000 tons from 2017-18, based on the World Trade Organization minimum with an expected W.T.O. shortfall of 99,000 tons. Additional T.R.Q. imports for specialty sugar typically are announced later. Re-export imports were forecast at 350,000 tons, unchanged from 2017-18, which was lowered from 400,000 tons in April and considered too high by many in the trade. High-tier imports were forecast at 15,000 tons for next year.
U.S. sugar imports from Mexico in 2018-19 were projected at 1,645,000 tons, up 30% from 1,269,000 tons in 2017-18.
The U.S.D.A. forecast U.S. domestic deliveries of sugar in 2018-19 at 12,655,000 tons, including deliveries for food at 12,500,000 tons, up 175,000 tons, or 1.4%, from the current year. Exports were forecast at 50,000 tons, down from 170,000 tons this year.
U.S. sugar ending stocks for 2018-19 were forecast at 1,542,000 tons, down 359,000 tons, or 19%, from 1,901,000 tons forecast for 2017-18, which was raised 42,000 tons, or 2.3%, from April.
The 2018-19 ending stocks-to-use ratio initially was projected at 12.1% compared with 15% as the revised 2017-18 ratio and 15.1% in 2016-17.
The U.S.D.A. forecast Mexico’s 2017-18 sugar production at 5,970,000 tonnes, actual weight, down 80,000 tonne from its April forecast, based on lower harvested area. Production in 2018-19 was projected at 6,025,000 tonnes.
Imports by Mexico in 2017-18 were forecast at 190,000 tonnes, up 20,000 tonnes from April, with 2018-19 imports projected at 84,000 tonnes.
Domestic use of sugar in 2017-18 was forecast at 4,727,000 tonnes, down 159,035 tonnes from April “based on the slow pace in the first half of the year that is to be only partially offset by an expected increase in the pace during the second half.” Domestic use in 2018-19 was projected at 4,952,000 tonnes.
“Relatively higher per capita 2018-19 sweetener consumption, at 48.5 kg, reflects lower domestic sugar prices than witnessed in 2017-18,” the U.S.D.A. said. “With high-fructose corn syrup consumption at the same level as in 2017-18, sugar deliveries for human consumption are projected at 4,562,000 tonnes.”
HFCS consumption was forecast at 1,608,000 tonnes, dry basis, for both years, up 6% from 1,522,000 tonnes in 2016-17. October-March 2017-18 HFCS consumption was estimated at 755,000 tonnes, up 6% from 713,000 tonnes during the same period last year.
Mexico’s exports this year were forecast at 1,192,000 tonnes, down 155,388 tonnes from April with the reduction in destinations other than the United States due to better expected prices in the U.S. market. Exports for 2018-19 were projected at 1,418,000 tonnes, “projected at the expected level of U.S. Needs as defined in the amended Suspension Agreements — plus 10,000 tonnes to non-U.S. destinations.”
Mexico’s 2017-18 ending stocks were residually forecast at 1,243,000 tonnes, up 26% from 989,000 tonnes forecast in April. Ending stocks for next year were projected at 983,073 tonnes.