WASHINGTON — The Commodity Credit Corp. of the US Department of Agriculture announced Dec. 21 an increase to the 2021-22 (fiscal year 2022) overall sugar marketing allotment quantity (OAQ) that will allow US sugar beet processors to sell all of their forecast record high 2021-22 beet sugar production and ease supply tightness in the months ahead.

“Some beet processors anticipate that their FY 2022 beet sugar supplies will exceed their FY 2022 marketing allocation, a phenomenon known as ‘blocked stocks’,” the USDA said. “Given the expected large amount of blocked beet sugar stocks and current high sugar prices, USDA is increasing the FY 2022 OAQ to 10,802,657 tons.”

The USDA raised its OAQ by 432,657 tons, consisting of 235,149 tons of beet sugar (to 5,871,244 tons) and 197,508 tons of cane sugar (to 4,931,413 tons). The revised beet and cane sector allotments are distributed to individual processors according to formulas contained in the sugar program. The USDA transferred 304,674 tons of beet sugar allocations from beet sugar processors with surplus allocations to those with deficit allocations. There was no reassignment of allotments among sugar cane states or reallocations among cane sugar refiners.

Under the US sugar program, domestic beet and cane sugar producers are allocated 85% of the estimated quantity of sugar for domestic human consumption for the fiscal year as determined by the USDA. The remaining 15% is allocated to imports. Total deliveries for human consumption in 2021-22 (October-September) were forecast at 12,200,000 short tons, raw value, in the September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report and have not been revised since then. The OAQ was set at 10,370,000 tons in September, consisting of 54.35% (5,636,095 tons) of beet sugar and 45.65% (4,733,905 tons) of cane sugar as required by law.

The USDA in its Dec. 9 WASDE report forecast 2021-22 US beet sugar production at a record 5,393,000 tons, down 20,000 tons from the November forecast but up 301,000 tons from 2020-21. Refined cane sugar production was forecast at 3,847,000 tons, down 72,000 tons from November and down 292,000 tons from 2020-21.

The announcement was set to be published in the Dec. 22 Federal Register.