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White Sugar Premium Rises on Refining Stoppages, Indian Delays

The premium for white sugar over the raw sweetener has risen due to refinery shutdowns and on speculation exports from India, the world’s second-largest producer, may be delayed, according to Swiss Sugar Brokers.

Al Khaleej Sugar Co., the world’s largest sugar refinery, closed its plant and is reselling the raw sugar it bought as demand for the refined variety slowed, general manager Cyrus Raja said on April 11.

A panel of ministers approved 500,000 metric tons of sugar exports from India on March 22.

“The white premium has risen on speculation export licenses out of India aren’t being issued despite the approval of 500,000 tons of exports,” Naim Beydoun, a broker at the Rolle, Switzerland-based company, said in an e-mail today. “Refining stoppages due to losses and the difficulty to compete with Thai sugar also translated into a higher premium.”

White sugar for May delivery was about $132 a ton more expensive than May-delivered raw-sugar by 12:37 p.m. London time, according to data on Bloomberg. That represents a gain of 57 percent over the past month.

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