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ICE Sugar Ends Down; Brushes Aside UNICA’s April H1 Output Data

26 Apr 2019 7:08 am
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MUMBAI (Commoditiescontrol) – Benchmark sugar prices ended down on Thursday tracking the fall in global crude oil prices. Prices had risen in early trade following the Brazilian sugar industry association UNICA’s ethanol and sugar production report in the first fifteen days of April, but the market soon gave up these gains.

The ICE Sugar no 11 July contract ended down 1.6% at 12.69 cents per lb. Volumes jumped sharply to 106,102 on Thursday compared with 79,399 day ago. The London August white sugar ended down 0.1% to $340.10 per tonne.

Crude oil prices were down, with the June WTI crude easing 1% to $65.21 a barrel because of the rise in the dollar and healthy crude oil inventories. Wednesday's EIA report showed US crude oil inventories rose by 5.48 million barrels to an over 1-year high. Amid easing crude prices, Brazilian millers may divert lower cane crushes for ethanol production than earlier expected.

Prices had opened higher after Brazilian sugar industry association UNICA had said that the country’s total sales of hydrous ethanol jumped 26% on year in the first half of April to 1.18 billion liters. This led to expectations of higher ethanol production.

Total ethanol production stood at 737 million liters. Meanwhile, sugar production fell 52% in the first half of April to 340,000 tonnes, UNICA said.

On crushing status, UNICA said Mills in Brazil’s centre-south region crushed 13.865 million tonnes of sugarcane at the beginning of 2019-20, a 38% on-year drop and the lowest since 2015-16. It was also way short of analysts’ expectations of a crush of around 16 million tonnes.

Monday, Brazilian government’s commodity forecaster Conab’s report said Brazil's 2018-19 ethanol production is likely to have jumped 23% on year to a record 33.6 billion liters, while sugar output in the same period dropped 17.2% on year to an 11-year low of 31.4 million tonnes.

According to some forecasts, rain has been predicted for the weekend which could yet again slow down the harvest and crushing.

Sugar prices are seen moving in the 12.87-12.59 cents range.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau)

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