Cane sugar prices seen near 35c a lb

by Ron Sterk
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The price of imported refined cane sugar from Mexico should hold around the “mid-30s” for the next three or four years.
 

 

SAN DIEGO The price of imported refined cane sugar from Mexico should hold around the “mid-30s” for the next three or four years, Craig Ruffolo, vice-president and commodity specialist, McKeany-Flavell Co., Inc., said at the International Sweetener Symposium Aug. 7 in San Diego.

Craig Ruffolo, vice-president and commodity specialist, McKeany-Flavell Co., Inc.
Craig Ruffolo, vice-president and commodity specialist for McKeany-Flavell Co., Inc.

The higher minimum export price included in the recently renegotiated U.S.-Mexico anti-dumping and countervailing duty suspension agreements suggests pricing of 50-kg bags of refined sugar will hold steady around 35c-a-lb delivered Chicago, Mr. Ruffolo said. That price is comparable to expectations for U.S. refined cane sugar prices. Prices of imported Mexican sugar have tended to be below U.S. refined sugar prices since imports began in earnest in 2008 under the North America Free Trade Agreement.

Domestically, he suggested bulk industrial refined sugar was more than 60% booked for 2017-18, which begins Oct. 1, 2017, with a small percentage also booked for 2018-19, noting that buyers are tending to book sugar earlier than in the past.

International Sugar Organization executive director Jose Orive
Jose Orive, executive director of the International Sugar Organization

Meanwhile, International Sugar Organization executive director Jose Orive said, “Bears remain firmly in the driving seat” concerning the global sugar market.

Worldwide consumption growth has slowed at a time when production is up more than 12 million tonnes, Mr. Orive said at the symposium Aug. 7, suggesting that “attacks” on sugar may be contributing to the drop in consumption. World production could hit an all-time high of 178.5 million tonnes in the coming year, he said, coming after two years of deficits and higher prices in the global market.

“Boosted area under beet production in Europe, production recoveries in India and Thailand and no huge weather shocks” were among the factors causing the market swing, Mr. Orive said. Brazil’s crop is also off to a good start, and China, a large global sugar buyer, has curtailed raw sugar imports, he added. 
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