WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture in its April 11 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) raised its forecast of US 2022-23 sugar supply from March as higher imports easily offset a small drop in domestic beet sugar production. 

Imports in 2022-23 were forecast at 3,511,000 short tons, raw value, up 181,000 tons from March. Tariff-rate quota (TRQ) imports were forecast at 1,730,000 tons, up 112,000 tons from March, and high-tier imports were boosted 69,000 tons, to 225,000 tons. Imports from Mexico were unchanged from March at 1,306,000 tons.

“On March 13, USTR announced the reallocation of 247,182 tons from countries that stated they do not plan to ship their original raw sugar TRQ allocation,” the USDA said. “USDA projects that only 46.5% of the reallocation, or 114,905 tons, will enter, implying a new shortfall projection of 132,277 tons, down from 254,632 tons projected last month. “High-tier tariff imports are increased to 225,000 tons on raw sugar imported during March by a refiner and by an increase in projected monthly refined imports based on the pace to date.” 

The USDA forecast 2022-23 US sugar production at 9,306,000 tons, down 4,000 tons from March, based on beet sugar production at 5,150,000 tons, down 10,285 tons, and cane sugar production at 4,156,000 tons, up 5,430 tons. Beet sugar was lowered on slightly lower recovery and a corresponding small increase in beet pile shrink, the USDA said, while cane sugar was up on processor reporting in Florida and Texas.

Total sugar supply in 2022-23 was forecast at 14,637,000 tons, up 176,692 tons from March and up 129,000 tons from 2021-22.

All sugar use forecasts were unchanged from March, including deliveries for food at 12,600,000 tons, exports at 35,000 tons, and “other” at 105,000 tons. Total sugar use in 2022-23 was unchanged from March at 12,740,000 tons but up 52,000 tons from 2021-22.

Ending stocks in 2022-23 were forecast at 1,897,000 tons, up 176,692 tons from March and up 77,000 tons from the prior year. The 2022-23 ending stocks-to-use ratio was forecast at 14.9%, up from 13.5% in March and up from 14.3% in 2021-22. 

The USDA raised its forecast of Mexico’s 2022-23 sugar production by 75,000 tonnes, actual weight, to 5,560,000 tonnes from 5,485,000 tonnes as the March forecast. Exports were nudged up 2,000 tonnes, to 1,123,000 tonnes, and domestic use was raised 61,000 tonnes, to 4,499,000 tonnes. Ending stocks were forecast at 937,216 tonnes, up 12,000 tonnes from March but down 27,000 tonnes from 2021-22. 

“The production increase flows through to an increase in IMMEX deliveries to 331,037 tonnes and in ending stocks to 937,216 tonnes,” the USDA said.

The USDA noted that the government of Mexico has informed the US Department of Commerce that it will be able to supply US sugar needs of 1.118 million tonnes during the rest of the export limit period. The USDA projected Mexico’s production of sugar with polarity below 99.2 (other, or raw sugar) could be as high as 840,000 tonnes, or about 75% of allocation.