WASHINGTON — Forecast higher US beet and cane sugar production more than offset lower imports in 2020-21, raising forecast ending stocks by 111,093 short tons, raw value, and boosting the ending stocks-to-use ratio to 14.4% from 13.5% in December, the US Department of Agriculture said in its Jan. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

Total domestic sugar production in 2020-21 was forecast at 9,156,000 tons, up 195,632 tons from the December forecast and up 1,007,000 tons from 2019-20. Beet sugar production was forecast at 4,992,000 tons, up 133,632 tons from December and up 641,000 tons from last year, with cane sugar at 4,163,000 tons, up 62,000 tons from last month (all in Louisiana) and up 365,000 tons from 2019-20.

Beet sugar production was raised on higher projected sucrose recovery at 14.955%, “based on increases in sucrose recoveries in all major producing regions over last month with data now available for August through November,” the USDA said. The increase in Louisiana cane sugar production was based on “reporting made close to the end of the production campaign,” the USDA said.  

Total imports for 2020-21 were forecast at 3,344,000 tons, down 84,539 tons from November and down 891,000 tons from 2019-20, including tariff-rate quota imports at 1,721,000 tons, down 87,000 tons from December, and imports from Mexico at 1,163,000 tons, down 2,783 tons, “on sugar (from Mexico) allocated for 2019-20 entering in October according to a CONADESUCA report,” the USDA said.

“Most of the decrease (in imports) is due to corrections in Customs 2019-20 TRQ reporting for the 13-month quota year that lowered entries in October by 77,869 tons but increased entries in September 2019-20 by 81,631 tons,” the USDA said. The USDA lowered free trade agreement TRQ entries by 9,453 tons for 2020-21 and by 626 tons for 2019-20.

“There are no changes (from December) made for corresponding deliveries in 2020-21 due to overall uncertainties in underlying demand by end users,” the USDA said. “Ending stocks for 2020-21 increase to 1,777,000 tons, implying an ending stocks-to-use ratio of 14.4%.”

For 2019-20, the increase in TRQ imports was largely offset by an increase in estimated deliveries for food, slightly lowering the estimated ending stocks-to-use ratio to 12.9% from 13% in December.

“The increase in imports for 2019-20 that arrived late in the fiscal year had the effect of increasing measured deliveries for human consumption for 2019-20 by 81,005 tons to 12,316,000 tons,” the USDA said. Total sugar use in 2019-20 was estimated at 12,549,000 tons, up 81,000 tons from December.

There were no changes from December to production, imports from Mexico, high-tier imports or exports for 2019-20.

There were no changes from December to the USDA’s supply and demand estimates for Mexico for either 2019-20 or 2020-21.