WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture in its Dec. 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report made modest changes from November to domestic production and imports for 2022-23, leaving forecast sugar use unchanged and resulting in a slight increase in ending stocks. 

The USDA forecast 2022-23 domestic sugar production at 9,039,000 short tons, raw value, down 47,000 tons from the November forecast, with beet sugar at 4,927,000 tons, down 66,980 tons, and cane sugar at 4,111,000 tons, up about 20,000 tons.

“Beet processors reduced their forecast of sugar beets available for slicing by 252,846 tons in their December forecast published in Sweetener Market Data,” the USDA said. “Cane sugar in Louisiana is increased by 18,460 tons to 2,025,000 tons. Although NASS (the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistical Service) decreased its sugar cane yield to 32.2 tons per acre from 32.4, production is increased on more cane area for sugar instead of for seed and a 1.01% increase in recovery projected by processors. Cane sugar in Texas is increased slightly on processor reporting.”

Total sugar imports in 2022-23 were projected at 3,494,000 tons, up 53,000 tons from November, all from Mexico at 1,477,000 tons.

Concerning the Nov. 23 Withhold Release Order issued by US Customs and Border Protection against Central Romana Corp. in the Dominican Republic on alleged use of forced labor and other factors, the USDA said it “has determined that the DR sugar industry intends to re-configure distribution in the local sugar market and re-arrange the company level allotments of the TRQ (US tariff-rate quota) with the local mills to meet its full 2022-23 raw sugar TRQ allocation.”

Forecast deliveries in 2022-23 were unchanged from November, resulting in ending stocks at 1,707,000 tons, up 6,000 tons from November. The ending stocks-to-use ratio was unchanged at 13.5%.

Changes for 2021-22 that ended Sept. 30 were minor, leaving ending stocks unchanged at 1,814,000 tons and the stocks-to-use ratio at 14.3%.

For Mexico, the USDA forecast 2022-23 exports at 1,266,000 tonnes, actual weight, up 47,000 tonnes from November, and domestic use at 4,662,000 tonnes, down 39,000 tonnes, resulting in ending stocks of 971,000 tonnes, down 8,000 tonnes from November. There were no changes made to production or import forecasts for 2022-23 or to any estimates for 2021-22.