WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its July 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report raised forecast total U.S. sugar supply, lowered sugar deliveries for food and raised ending stocks for both this year and next.
For the current year, beet sugar production was raised 55,000 short tons, raw value, to a record 5,276,000 tons, “based on processor reporting of late season sucrose recovery from sugar beet slicing to a robust 15.2%,” the U.S.D.A. said. High-tier tariff imports were raised 15,000 tons, boosting total supply by 70,000 tons, to 14,571,000 tons. Deliveries for food were lowered by 65,000 tons, to 12,235,000 tons, with the result a boost of 135,000 tons in ending stocks, forecast at 2,011,000 tons, with an ending stocks-to-use ratio of 16%, up from 14.9% forecast in June.
For 2018-19, cane sugar production was lowered from June by 185,000 tons to 3,740,000 tons, with beet sugar unchanged at 5,036,000 tons, both the lowest in four years. Total imports were forecast at 3,560,000 tons, up 195,000 tons from June based on a 184,000-ton increase in tariff-rate quota imports and a 10,000-ton increase in imports from Mexico, projected at 1,655,000 tons. Total supply was forecast at 14,347,000 tons, up 143,867 tons from the June projection. Deliveries for food were lowered by 100,000 tons from June, to 12,400,000 tons, with a net result of a 244,000-ton increase in ending stocks at 1,707,000 tons. The 2018-19 ending stocks-to-use ratio was raised to 13.5% from 11.5% in June.
Minor changes were made to ending stocks forecasts for Mexico. For 2017-18, sugar production was raised 39,000 tonnes, actual weight, to 6,009,000 tonnes “on official preliminary reporting of the completed harvest season,” the U.S.D.A. said. Exports to non-U.S. destinations were raised by 36,375 tonnes, bringing total exports up to 1,228,000 tonnes, with ending stocks raised about 4,000 tonnes, to about 1,247,000 tonnes.
For 2018-19, Mexico’s sugar exports were raised 9,000 tonnes to 1,427,000 tonnes to reflect a small increase from June in shipments to the United States (forecast at 1,417,000 tonnes), more than offsetting the small uptick in beginning stocks and resulting in forecast ending stocks of 1,008,000 tonnes, down 6,000 tonnes from the June forecast.