WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its Nov. 8 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, lowered from October its forecast for 2018-19 U.S. beet sugar and total sugar production, but also lowered forecasts for domestic sugar use.
For the current year (2018-19), beet sugar production was lowered 262,000 short tons, raw value, to 4,974,000 tons, down 5% from the October forecast and down 5.8% from record high production in 2017-18 of 5,279,000 tons. Cane sugar production was forecast at 4,041,000 tons this year, up 15,000 tons from October and up 27,000 tons from 2017-18.
Imports were left unchanged from October, resulting in total supply forecast at 13,809,000 tons, down 268,000 tons from October due to lower production and lower beginning stocks, forecast at 1,993,000 tons.
Total deliveries in 2018-19 were forecast at 12,320,000 tons, down 85,000 tons from October, with deliveries for food at 12,175,000 tons, down 75,000 tons, or 0.6%, from October but up 1.1% from 12,048,000 tons in 2017-18, which was lowered by 52,000 tons from October.
The ending stocks-to-use ratio for 2018-19 was forecast at 11.3%, down from 12.7% projected in October and compared with 16% in 2017-18. The U.S.D.A. is expected to increase allowed imports from Mexico in the December WASDE as outlined in agreements between the two countries, which requires a minimum 13.5% ending stocks-to-use ratio.