WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture in its Oct. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report raised from September its estimate of 2020-21 sugar ending stocks but lowered its forecast for 2021-22 ending stocks as lower imports and lower cane sugar production more than offset higher beginning stocks and higher beet sugar production.  

For 2020-21, which ended Sept. 30, the USDA lowered domestic cane sugar production by about 20,000 tons, raw value, as a late start to the sugar cane harvest in Louisiana pushed more sugar into the new marketing year. Beet sugar production was unchanged from September.

Imports for 2020-21 were raised from September by about 83,000 tons due to a 25,000-ton increase in high-tier imports, forecast at 205,000 tons, and more sugar than expected entering the United States before Sept. 30 after the USDA increased the 2020-21 raw sugar tariff rate quota by 99,318 tons on Aug. 24 (more sugar had been expected to enter after Sept. 30 under an extended import deadline). As a result, total sugar supply for 2020-21 was estimated at 14,052,000 tons, down 63,000 tons from the September estimate. Deliveries were increased by 14,000 tons (deliveries for food were unchanged), resulting in ending stocks of 1,680,512 tons, up 49,000 tons from September, and an ending stocks-to-use ratio of 13.6%, up from 13.2%.

For 2021-22, which began Oct. 1, beginning stocks were raised from September by 49,000 tons to 1,681,000 tons. Beet sugar product was forecast at a record 5,348,000 tons, up 145,945 tons from September due to a forecast increase in sugar beet production, mainly in the Upper Midwest and the Great Plains. Cane sugar production in 2021-22 was forecast at 3,939,000 tons, down 20,623 tons from September due to a like reduction in Louisiana as lower yields were only partially offset by higher harvested area.

Imports in 2021-22 were projected at 3,000,000 tons, down 212,000 tons from September (all in TRQ imports) as more sugar entered the United States than expected before Oct. 1 after the USDA increased the TRQ in August, and mainly the result of a reduction of 151,556 tons due to the Philippines indication that it will not export any of its TRQ allocation in 2021-22. High-tier imports were unchanged at 75,000 tons, and forecast imports from Mexico were unchanged at 1,084,000 tons. The raw sugar TRQ shortfall for 2021-22 was raised to 250,764 tons, the USDA said.

Deliveries for 2021-22 were unchanged from September but were down 14,000 tons from 2020-21, with deliveries for food unchanged from both periods at 12,200,000 tons.

Ending stocks for 2021-22 were forecast at 1,627,000 tons, down 38,361 tons from September, with the ending stocks-to-use ratio forecast at 13.2%, down from 13.5% in September.