Sugar (Retail) Prices Q1 2022
The spot prices of white granulated sugar in China increased by 0.07% on a year-on-year basis in the first week of March with prices at 5796 RMB/MT. The international market for sugar strengthened and the domestic market is likely to follow a similar trend causing pricing to rise in future. Favourable weather conditions in Guangxi production areas improved harvesting and crushing progress. The import costs of sugar increased while sugar futures in Zhengzhou also went up.
Europe is the second biggest consumer of sugar and the third biggest producer in the world. In Western Europe, white sugar NWE prices started to climb in 2022, reaching 603 EUR/MT towards the end of January. The prices further increased to 651 EUR/MT in February and continued to rise till the second week of March at 681 EUR/MT.
During the week ending March 31, 2021, the average weekly sugar price at the InterContinental Exchange (ICE) NY plummeted to a 10-week low of 14.88 US cents/Ib. Since reaching at a four-year high of USc 17.02/Ib in late February 2021, the ICE sugar price has gradually weakened. The high in February marked the end of a 10-month bullish trend that was mostly driven by supply constraints in key producing regions.
Sugar (Retail) Prices (Q4 2021)
The sugarcane production in India had been flourishing due to favourable weather conditions but the major part of the produce was used for ethanol production as a result of the country’s ethanol blending programme instead of sugar production, bringing down the levels by around 3 MMT, causing the global sugar balance to deteriorate. The demand increased in Asian countries as the freight costs declined. The global demand was estimated at 188.4 MMT, while the production was projected at 186.6 MMT. The production in India was estimated to remain the same as in the previous year, close to 31 MMT.
Raw retail sugar prices in Europe hit their highest since 2017 in November 2021, at a cost of 527 USD/MT. The raw sugar prices also peaked at 20.42 cents in November, the highest in 4 years. The market price in Europe increased by 35 EUR/MT as compared to those of the previous year.
Refined and retail sugar price in the US was recorded at 1517 USD/MT in the final quarter of 2021. The increase in gas prices, along with limited supply from India and Brazil led to tight global supplies. The production in Brazil had been hampered due to the dry weather while in India more sugarcane was being diverted for biofuel production. Raw sugar prices were close to 19.50 cents per pound in the US in December 2021.
The production levels for sugarcane were less by 12% in Brazil as compared to the previous year. However, the production in the first quarter of 2022 was expected to increase by 6%, as sugarcane volumes reached close to 565.3 MMT in the region.
Sugar (Retail) Prices (Q1-Q3 2021)
In India, the market witnessed an upward trend in the prices with a rise of 400-500 INR/quintal as the demand increased with the festival season around the corner. The demand had increased not just in the domestic market but in the international market as well as a result of the supply deficit in the global market. As markets recovered from the pandemic, the consumption increased pushing the demand for the commodity. In the third quarter of 2021, raw sugar prices in India were around 3450-3580 INR/quintal, close to 500 USD/MT. The rising prices were a result of poor production in Brazil and a shortage in global market. The domestic overloading charges and logistic problems with truck being stopped in Mumbai were also reasons for the price hike in the region. The crude oil prices had also gone up which impacted the price rise in the overall sugar market.
The white sugar prices in Europe hit a four-year high in the third quarter as stock levels for the commodity dipped in 2021. Raw sugar prices were estimated at 539 EUR/MT and 520 EUR/MT in Northwest and Mediterranean Europe respectively in August 2021. The prices had been high in Greece and Italy in Mediterranean Europe while the prices in Spain were flat. In Northwest Europe, the prices were soaring high in Netherlands, Belgium and Germany while prices in France remained mostly stable. As lockdowns were lifted in the region, the market demand went up in July and August with the rise in consumption levels. The supply had been tight, as crops in the region suffered from poor weather conditions like heavy downpour and lack of sunshine which raised concerns for the new crop as well as delayed the harvest which caused the prices in Italy to go up.
The average price in the US for retail refined sugar was around 68.4 cents per pound in the third quarter of 2021. The prices were up by 19.2 cents per pound, a 1.3% rise in October. The crops of about 118,000 acres in the region were impacted negatively by the hurricane Ida in Louisiana which amounted for roughly 26% of the crop to be harvested. The prices had recovered from the price slump in August at 18.57 cents per pound. However, exports from India increased its supplies in the region causing prices to remain stable once again. The price in the US in 2021 had doubled from those in 2017. In the second half of the year, the USDA reported the highest price since 2012. The price rose as the crop yields had suffered in the previous year due to drought in Brazil along with the fire outbreaks due to high temperatures which affected the sugarcane fields. This was followed by the onset of frost waves which again impacted the crops adversely, causing global deficits in its supply. The price rose for five consecutive months in 2021 and had risen by 9.6% from July to August.
The production in Mexico were estimated at around 6.3 MMT as the crops were impacted positively by the heavy rains lifting the drought conditions in the region. Mexico witnessed elevated levels of sugar production in the major producing states of Jalisco, Veracruz, Chiapas and San Luis Potosi, as the prices increased in the region due to the high global demand. The stability in prices along with profitability were supported by the domestic government policies. Mexico had the highest sugar prices in 2021. In Brazil, the production fell by 6 MMT due to unfavourable weather conditions like lack of rain and frosts. This fall in production heavily impacted the global prices and supplies of sugar, with Brazil being its major producer and exporter in the world. The prices in the region remained firm, as exports dropped due to production issues.
Sugar (Retail) Prices Overview 2020
Indonesia has been one of the largest importers of sugar from Brazil, Thailand and India. The consumption of the commodity in Asia was affected by the covid-19 pandemic. China imposed certain restrictions for cargoes and visitors, in response to the pandemic, which caused problems in its imports in the region. The prices in 2020 were on the downward trend due to the low demand as a result of reduced consumption. However, as the Chinese economy improved by the end of the year along with supply problems from India and Brazil, as well as an increase in oil prices, a gradual rise in prices was seen in the region.
The price in Europe increased by the third quarter of 2020 due to low supply from major producing countries like Brazil and India. The supply disruptions were caused by poor crops in Brazil as well as logistical issues in India due to the pandemic. The FAO price index rose by 7.6 % in September 2020. However, European Union also witnessed a decline in the consumption as consumers shifted to non-caloric sweeteners.
As supplies were disrupted, the prices soared high in in March 2020 in the US. The prices increased in spite of low demand levels amidst the pandemic, due to tightened supplies from Brazil as crops suffered due to a dry weather. A poor crop yield in Thailand also caused disruptions in the global supply while supplies from India were delayed due to logistical problems caused by the transport restrictions owing to the pandemic. Prices in October 2020 had risen by more than 21% to 13 cents per pound, from those in April at 9.67 cents per pound. In 2020, the volume of imported sugar in the US was 2.4 MMT and costed about USD 1.2 billion, a 2.4% rise from 2019. The average price of refined retail sugar in 2020 was about 1350 USD/MT.
The countries of Mexico and Brazil were the major exporters of the commodity to the US in 2020, contributing close to 40% of the total imports. In 2020, the exports from Brazil to US had nearly doubled. In terms of value, Mexico had the greatest share exporting sugar worth of USD 423 million to the US, responsible for 34% of the total imports in the region while Brazil exported 404 thousand tonnes at a value of USD 185 million, comprising 15% of the imports.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Sugar (Retail). Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.
Procurement Resource provides prices of Sugar (Retail) for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
About Sugar (Retail):
Sugar is basically a soluble carbohydrate, which is widely used in food and food industry. Simple sugars, also called monosaccharides are glucose, fructose, and galactose. Retail Sugar or common sugar is sucrose, a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose, that has been refined through further processing. It is widely utilised in prepared foods (e.g. cookies and cakes), and is also added to commercially available processed food and beverages. Retail Sugar is further available in granulated as well as powdered form and as light brown and dark brown sugars. Further, it is mainly utilised by people as a sweetener for foods (e.g. toast and cereal) and beverages (e.g. coffee and tea) at homes.
This Sugar type is obtained via the refining of the raw sugar, where the first step is affination, in which the sugar crystals are immersed in a concentrated syrup that removes their sticky brown coating without dissolving them, followed by their separation from the liquor and dissolution in water. Then, the obtained syrup is either carbonated or phosphated, and both involve the precipitation of fine solids present in the syrup, followed by their filtration, thus leaving behind impurities. After this, the resulting sugar syrup is decolourised and concentrated through boiling, which is further cooled and seeded with sugar crystals, causing the Sugar (Retail) to crystallise out.
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The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).