WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture in its July 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report slashed from June its forecast of 2021-22 (beginning Oct. 1, 2021) domestic sugar production but raised forecast imports sharply with the net result of boosting forecast 2021-22 ending stocks by 14% for a 13.5 ending stocks-to-use ratio.

Significant changes in USDA projections for the next marketing year often occur in July as the ending stocks-to-use ratio is adjusted to a minimum 13.5% as prescribed in the US-Mexico agreement suspending anti-dumping and countervailing duties on sugar from Mexico.

Domestic sugar production in 2021-22 was forecast at 9,008,000 tons, down 302,000 tons, or 3.2%, from the June forecast, including beet sugar at 5,033,000 tons, down 192,000 tons, or 3.7%, and cane sugar at 3,975,000 tonnes, down 110,000 tons, or 2.7%.

The lower beet sugar forecast was “due to a reduction from last month of projected yield in the Upper Midwest on processors’ reporting and a lower US area harvested forecast in the NASS Acreage report,” the USDA said. “Florida cane sugar is decreased by 85,000 tons on processors’ reporting of a reduction from last month in forecast area harvested. Louisiana cane sugar production for 2021-22 is lowered by 25,000 tons on lower sugarcane yields forecast by processors.” Florida’s 2020-21 sugarcane campaign ran late through the beginning of June, which contributed to reduced area for the 2021-22 campaign, the USDA said.

Total imports for 2021-22 were projected at 3,136,000 tons, up 484,000 tons, or 18%, from the June projection. Unchanged from June were tariff-rate quota (TRQ) imports at 1,387,000 tons, other program imports at 250,000 tons and high-tier imports at 50,000 tons. All of the increase was for Mexico, projected at 1,449,000 tons, up 50% from June and up 48% from 2020-21.

Total supply in 2021-22 was projected at 13,921,000 tons, up 204,000 tons from June but down 121,000 tons from 2020-21.

There were no changes from June to forecasts for sugar use, including deliveries for food at 12,125,000 tons.

Ending stocks for 2021-22 were projected at 1,656,000 tons, up 204,000 tons, or 14%, from June but down 121,000 tons, or 7%, from the current year. The stocks-to-use ratio for 2021-22 was 13.5%.

For the 2019-20 marketing year (which ended Sept. 30, 2020), the USDA estimated high-tier sugar imports at 183,000 short tons, raw value, down 92,042 tons from the June estimate, which lowered total supply by a like amount to 14,074,000 tons. The lower imports were taken from estimated deliveries for food, which were estimated at 12,224,000 tons compared with 12,316,000 tons in June, resulting in unchanged ending stocks at 1,618,000 tons but boosting the stocks-to-use ratio to 13% from 12.9% due to lower use.

“High-tier tariff sugar imports for 2019-20 and 2020-21 have been corrected due to a discovery of errors in the labeling of data maintained by the US Bureau of the Census,” the USDA said. “The Census data, which the USDA uses to identify high-tier tariff imports, were correct through the month of June 2020 but have been incorrect since July 2020. With the assistance of USDA, Census staff have identified the problem and are in the process of correcting the data. Revised import estimates will be published as soon as practicable. In the meantime, USDA is using non-public estimates of high-tier tariff imports as compiled by US Customs and Border Protection in their ACE database. These data since July 2020 through May 2021 will be published by FAS shortly after the release of the July 2021 WASDE.”

For the current 2020-21 marketing year, the USDA forecast domestic sugar production at 9,286,000 tons, down 13,000 tons from the June forecast. Imports were forecast at 3,138,000 tons, up 34,093 tons from June based on TRQ imports at 1,778,000 tons, up 105,000 tons, partially offset by other program imports at 200,000 tons, down 50,000 tons, and high-tier imports at 180,000 tons, down 20,000 tons.

“TRQ imports for 2020-21 are estimated at 1.778 million tons on the basis of the 44,093-ton increase in the additional specialty TRQ and an additional 60,000 tons of raw sugar expected to enter after the reallocation by USTR of the raw sugar TRQ shortfall,” the USDA said. “Shortfall is now estimated at 86,854 tons, down from 146,854 last month. Partially offsetting these increases are pace-to-date reductions to re-export imports (the 50,000-ton reduction in other program imports noted above) and high-tier tariff sugar imports resulting from ACE sourcing (the 20,000-ton decrease noted above).” Imports from Mexico were unchanged from June at 981,000 tons. Total supply was forecast at 14,042,000 tons, up 22,000 tons from June but down 32,000 tons from last year.

There were no changes in forecast deliveries for the current year at 12,230,000 tons, including deliveries for food at 12,125,000 tons.

Ending stocks for 2020-21 were forecast at 1,777,000 tons, up 21,522 tons from June, with the ending stocks-to-use ratio at 14.5%, up from 14.3%.

Changes in forecasts for Mexico for both this year and next year were minor. For 2020-21, sugar production was estimated at 5,708,000 tonnes, actual weight, up 8,000 tonnes from June, exports at 1,366,000 tonnes, down 8,000 tonnes, and domestic use at 4,391,000 tonnes, up 13,000 tonnes. Ending stocks for this year were forecast at 913,000 tonnes, up 3,000 tonnes from the June estimate. For next year, exports were forecast at 1,511,000 tonnes, down 13,000 tons and domestic use at 4,383,000 tonnes, up 13,000. As a result, the 3,000-tonne boost in beginning stocks was carried into 2021-22 ending stocks, forecast at 913,000 tonnes.

“Exports to the United States for 2021-22 are increased to 1.240 million tonnes on calculated US needs implied by the July 2021 WASDE as set out in the AD/CVD suspension agreements,” the USDA said. “Residually determined exports to other destinations are projected at 271,088 tonnes.”