Tag Archives: sugarcane

In Cane for Life

The cane cutters of Brazil at work.

Watch here.

An interesting three part documentary on the lives of sugar cane workers in Brazil.

Please click here for parts 2 and 3.


Sugar price and surplus forecasts indicate price falls

A consensus of forecasts from leading market sources for sugar prices at the end of 2011 indicate a mean forecast for raw sugar of 25.19 cents per pound with the highest being 31 cents and the low forecast being 21.50 cents.  The forecasts for white sugar at the end of 2011 indicate a mean of $670 per tonne with a high forecast of $800 and a low of $562. The forecast for the global sugar surplus for the 2011/12 season is a mean of 6.35 million tonnes with a high forecast of 9 million tonnes and a low of 3.5 million tonnes.

The forecasts indicate that sugar prices may be trending lower over the next few months.  The forecasts were obtained in mid July 2011. A weaker U.S. dollar and UNICA announcing in July that Brazil’s center south sugar cane crop is likely to be down by over 6% or 35.5m tonnes due to bad weather and older ratoons resulted in sugar prices soaring with white sugar reaching a record $890 per tonne and raw sugar hitting a 4 month high of 31.33 cents per pound. 

Sugar production is expected to decrease by slightly more than 2 million tonnes with slightly less sugar than expected being diverted to ethanol production due to higher margins from current sugar prices.

Brazil’s Center South sugar production lower than 2010/11 season

UNICA is expected to announce that sugar production in the Center South region of Brazil is expected to be lower than production during the 2010/11 season which amounted to 33.5 million tonnes.  Production is therefore short of the 35 million tonnes estimated by the market for the 2011/12 season.

The news sent sugar prices soaring to achieve the highest daily gains of 2011 as Brazil approaches peak harvest season.  Older cane ratoons, dry weather in the second half of 2010 and higher sugar prices encouraging delays in replanting and use of older ratoons resulted in lower sugar yields.  The Center South produces most of Brazil’s sugar.

Thailand sugar crop larger than expected

Thailand is forecast to produce approximately 7.8 million tonnes of sugar during the 2010/11 season.  Initial forecasts were for 6.8 million tonnes.  Crushing will end next month in Thailand, the world’s second largest sugar exporter after Brazil.

A larger crop in Thailand and expected decreased demand from Japan has seen prices drop recently.  China and Indonesia may step in to fulfil their buying requirements at such price levels.

Thai whites were offered at a premium $25 above London No. 5 which is down from the recent $40 premium. While Thai raws were offered at a premium of 200 points above New York No. 11 which is down from the recent 280 point premium.  Demand seemed to be weak for Thai raws of Japanese specification.  Thai premiums may weaken further as a result of the larger than expected crop, weaker demand from Japan and the possibility of Indian exports becoming available.

India raises price paid to cane farmers

India has raised the price at which sugar mills buy cane from farmers from 139 Rupees per 100 kg of cane to 145 Rupees per 100 kg.  The price increase is effective as of 1 October 2011 at the start of the coming season.

$1 is equal to approximately 45 Rupees.

Damaged sugar cane from cyclone Yasi to fuel mills in Queensland

In a bid to salvage something from recent damage to sugar cane crops in Queensland caused by cyclone Yasi in early February the remains have been turned into a renewable resource to fuel the boilers of sugar mills.  The woodchip will be used to generate steam for the boilers.

Will ethanol save Australia’s ailing sugar industry?

Australian MPs are seeking to change legislation that restricts ethanol use in petrol to 10% in a move to revive and save Australia’s ailing sugar industry.

Seven sugar mills have closed in Queensland over the past decade leaving only 22 remaining mills.  A further mill in Cairns, Queensland recently announced that it will be closing.  The sector employs over 45,000 people in Australia. 

A campaign for wider ethanol use is proposed and the Australian Workers Union has been asked to actively promote and support the campaign.