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Analyst raises sugar production estimate

Commodities analyst FO Licht has revised its world 2011/12 sugar production forecast upwards by 1 million tonnes to 176.8mt raw value, the firm said on Friday.

This is an 11.1mt rise on 2010/11 production. “The increased estimate is a result of rather modest adjustments here and there instead of a large revision for any specific country,” FO Licht said.

The Germany-based analyst said it had increased its estimate for world sugar production in 2011-12 by 1 million tons, a result of “rather modest adjustments here and there,” instead of a large change for any specific country.

However, FO Licht said the likelihood that Brazil’s 2012-13 Centre South crop may come in at the lower end of its “rather pessimistic” estimate of 475 million-515 million tons of cane has increased in recent weeks.

Crushing of next season’s cane crop in the top producing nation’s key growing region was hindered by wet weather, which initially delayed the start-up of many mills and hampered operations after processing commenced.

FO Licht said while it is still early in the season and yields could yet improve, it is difficult to make a case for an upward revision of its previous guidance and it now seems unlikely that there will be a sizable increase in Braziliansugar production in 2012-13, if at all.

Nevertheless, FO Licht said Europe may be headed for another bumper crop, with encouraging weather prospects as beets were sown similarly early as last year and the weather has been largely favorable.

The analyst said Africa may be headed for another rise in output as production in South Africa recovers, while some other countries on the continent continue to ramp up production.

North America and Central America also seem poised for a further rise in output due to larger production from Mexico and the U.S., FO Licht said, with the same trend seen in Oceania, where Australian production is likely to recover significantly.

Finally, FO Licht said Asian production will likely hold up well as Indian production may be not much lower than in 2011-12, while production is likely to climb further in countries such as Thailand, China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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