Sugar Prices Spike on Weak Dollar

Azeez Mustapha


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Sugar prices rebounded on Tuesday, recuperating from early losses to settle moderately higher. This surge was propelled by a decline in the dollar index, which hit a one-week low, igniting short covering in sugar futures.

Initially, on Tuesday, sugar prices extended losses from Monday, with New York sugar touching a 1-1/2 year nearest-futures low and London sugar reaching a 1-1/4 year low.

These losses were exacerbated by easing global sugar supply concerns, notably with Datagro revising its 2024 Center-South sugar production estimate upward to 41.6 million metric tons (MMT) from a previous estimate of 40.45 MMT in March.

Furthermore, Brazil reported a significant surge in sugar production, with Unica indicating a 31.0% year-on-year increase to 710 MT in the first half of April, marking the beginning of the 2024/25 marketing year (April to March).

Additionally, for the just-ended 2023/24 marketing year, Unica reported a 25.7% year-on-year rise in Brazilian sugar output to 42.425 MMT.

This uptick was attributed to Brazil’s sugar mills focusing more on sugar production rather than ethanol, with a notable increase in sugar cane crushing.

However, India’s Meteorological Department forecasted a favorable monsoon period for 2024 (June to September), potentially boosting India’s sugar output. In contrast, the previous year’s monsoon rain was 6% below average, adversely affecting production.

On a bullish note, the Indian Sugar and Bioenergy Manufacturers Association reported a decline of 1.6% year-on-year in India’s 2023/24 sugar production to 31.4 MMT from October to April, due to more sugar mills closing operations earlier than last year.
Sugar Prices Spike on Weak DollarThe extension of restrictions on sugar exports by India until further notice aimed to maintain adequate domestic supplies, as India is the world’s second-largest sugar producer.

Additionally, record heat in Thailand threatened sugarcane crops, as the country’s Meteorological Department reported unprecedented high temperatures in several provinces, coupled with below-average rainfall. Despite this, the Thai government estimated higher sugar production for the 2023/24 season.

Moreover, the recent El Niño weather event was predicted to end, transitioning to neutral conditions, which could benefit weather patterns in South America and Asia, potentially boosting global sugar crops.

In November, the USDA projected record-high global sugar production for 2023/24, accompanied by increased human sugar consumption and reduced ending stocks, setting the stage for a challenging market environment.

The International Sugar Organization (ISO) raised its global sugar deficit estimate, indicating potential market tightness.

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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