U.S. 2016 sugar carryover seen down 4%

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates on May 12 projected U.S. sugar carryover on Oct. 1, 2016, at 1,547,000 short tons, raw value, down 60,000 tons, or 4%, from a downwardly revised 1,607,000 tons forecast as the carryover on Oct. 1, 2015.

The 2015-16 ending stocks-to-use ratio was projected at 12.6%, down from 13.2% as the forecast for 2014-15, which was lowered from 13.9% forecast in April. A U.S. stocks-to-use ratio below 13.5% implies potentially tight sugar supplies.

In its first report for the new marketing year that begins Oct. 1, 2015, the U.S.D.A. projected 2015-16 U.S. beet sugar production at 4,770,000 tons, up 8,000 tons from 4,762,000 tons in 2014-15. U.S. cane sugar production was projected at 3,680,000 tons, down 85,000 tons, or 2%, from 3,765,000 tons in the current year. Total 2015-16 U.S. sugar production was projected at 8,450,000 tons, down 77,000 tons from a downwardly revised 8,527,000 tons in 2014-15.

“Beet sugar production for the 2015-16 August-July period will total about 4.9 million tons, but fiscal year 2015-16 production is forecast at 4.77 million as 11% of the 2015-16 sugar beet crop will be harvested in August-September and thus will be accounted for in the estimate of the fiscal year 2014-15 crop,” the U.S.D.A. said. Sugar beet plantings in some states were the earliest in 30 years this spring.

“Cane sugar production is forecast at 3.68 million tonnes, down 85,000 as production yields return to trend and area remains about the same as in 2014-15,” the U.S.D.A. said.

U.S. imports in 2015-16 were projected at 3,810,000 tons, up 346,000 tons, or 10%, from 3,464,000 tons in 2014-15. Tariff rate quota imports were projected at 1,369,000 tons, down 159,000 tons, or 10%, from 1,528,000 tons forecast for 2014-15 and “at statutory levels consistent with international agreements,” the U.S.D.A. said. “Shortfall is forecast at 99,205 tons, the same as estimated for 2014-15.”

Other program imports were projected at 315,000 tons, down 85,000 tons from 2014-15.

Imports of sugar from Mexico were projected at 2,116,000 tons, up 39% from 1,526,000 tons estimated for 2014-15.

Total U.S. sugar supply was projected at 13,867,000 tons, up 66,000 tons from 13,801,000 tons in 2014-15.

Total domestic sugar deliveries were projected at 12,120,000 tons, up 126,000 tons from 11,994,000 tons in 2014-15. Sugar deliveries for food were projected at 11,985,000 tons, up 126,000 tons, or 1%, from 11,859,000 tons in the current year. U.S. sugar exports in 2015-16 were projected at 200,000 tons, unchanged from a downwardly revised estimate for 2014-15. Total use was projected at 12,320,000 tons, up 126,000 tons from 12,194,000 tons in 2014-15.

Sugar production in Mexico in 2015-16 was projected at 6 million tonnes, actual weight, unchanged from the downwardly revised estimate for 2014-15. Some recent trade forecasts have put 2014-15 Mexican sugar production below 6 million tonnes.

Imports were projected at 155,000 tonnes, unchanged from the downwardly revised estimate for 2014-15. Domestic use was projected at 4.574 million tonnes, unchanged from this year. Exports were projected at 1.821 million tonnes for 2015-16, up 315,000 tonnes, or 21%, from 1.506 million tonnes in 2014-15. Ending stocks in Mexico were projected at 668,000 tonnes next year, down from 907,000 tonnes in the current year, which was lowered from 975,000 tonnes in April.

“Exports to the United States for 2015-16 are forecast at 1.811 million tonnes, based on the terms of the Agreement Suspending the Countervailing Duty Investigations of Sugar from Mexico,” the U.S.D.A. said.

The 2015-16 ending stocks-to-consumption ratio was projected at 15.7%, which was well below the historical average of about 22%.