The number of ships waiting to load sugar doubled at Brazil’s ports in the last week as giant trading house Cargill takes delivery on a large March ICE Futures contract expiry.
Cargill said it would take delivery of 880,000 tonnes of raw sugar last week as the March contract expired, with much coming from leading producer Brazil, which is to start crushing a new and bigger cane crop in the coming weeks.
“There was a delivery on the exchange, that was almost all going to be handled by Cargill. So, that’s why you have six of the (12) ships in the line-up coming from Cargill,” said Nicolle de Castro at the SA Commodities/Unimar brokerage and ship agent.
Brazil’s sugar vessel lineup doubled from last week to 12, as mills in the main center-south cane belt remain closed for maintenance in between harvests. Crushing of the new crop will begin in April officially, but the lead analysts at the main milling industry association Unica said operations would start about 10 days later than last year.
In 2010 during heavy demand for a record Brazilian sugar crop, rains delayed loading and caused the queue of ships waiting to load sugar at the local ports to well above 100 vessels that faced waits of several weeks to load.
“The trend will be for the lineup to continue low like this. Some increases will occur but with the limited supply of sugar, it will stay low,” de Castro said.