WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture in its Feb. 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report boosted its 2021-22 forecast of US cane sugar production and slightly lowered its import forecast from January, resulting in higher ending stocks and a higher stocks-to-use ratio.  

The USDA forecast 2021-22 total domestic sugar production at a record high 9,442,000 tons, up 49,170 tons, or 0.5%, from its January forecast due to a like increase in cane sugar production at 4,041,000 tons. All the cane sugar increase was in Louisiana. Beet sugar production was unchanged from January but already forecast record high at 5,401,000 tons. 

“Louisiana cane sugar production for 2021-22 is increased by 49,170 short tons, raw value, to 1,905,741 tons on industry reporting,” the USDA said. “The sugar cane harvest ran longer through January than normal, and the crop had strong sucrose content.”

Total sugar imports in 2021-22 were forecast at 3,012,000 tons, down 3,736 tons from January due to a like reduction in 2020-21 tariff-rate quota imports that were allowed to enter the United States until Dec. 31, 2021, the USDA said. Imports from Mexico were unchanged from January at 1,065,000 tons, as were high-tier imports at 150,000 tons.

Total sugar supply in 2021-22 was forecast at 14,158,000 tons, up 45,434 tons from January and up about 112,000 tons from 2020-21.

There were no changes from January made to forecast deliveries for food, “other” or exports. Deliveries for food were forecast at 12,200,000 tons, up 65,000 tons from 12,135,000 tons in 2020-21.

Ending stocks for 2021-22 were forecast at 1,818,472 tons, up 45,434 tons, or 2.5%, from January and up 113,000 tons, or 7%, from 2020-21. The current-year ending stocks-to-use ratio was forecast at 14.7%, up from 14.4% forecast in January and up from 13.8% in 2020-21.

There were no changes made to 2020-21 data for either the United States or Mexico.

Mexico’s 2021-22 imports were lowered by 9,000 tonnes, actual weight, from January to 54,000 tonnes, with production unchanged at 5,979,000 tonnes. Exports were reduced about 22,000 tonnes and domestic use was raised about 11,000 tonnes, resulting in an 11,000-tonne reduction in total use to 6,167,000 tonnes. Ending stocks for the current year were forecast at 919,000 tonnes, up about 2,000 tonnes from January but down 134,000 tonnes from 2020-21.

“Imports for consumption are reduced by 9,000 tonnes due to lower domestic prices,” the USDA said. “Deliveries to the IMMEX program are increased by 11,057 tonnes to 497,000 tonnes on greater pace-to-date deliveries. Ending stocks are up slightly and residually determined exports, other than those to the United States under the AD/CVD Suspension Agreements, are reduced by 22,360 tonnes.”