3 June 2020 (Yahoo!) French sugar group Tereos on Wednesday posted its first full-year net profit in three years, mainly helped by a rebound in sugar prices in Europe, and said it was confident for the current season despite the COVID-19 crisis.
28 May 2020 (@sugartraders) EU sugar stocks were the same in March 2020 as they were last March, latest @europeancommission data shows. This was just before the Covid lockdown really hit us, so it's too early to draw any other conclusion than that sugar stocks as we entered lockdown were adequate. We'll have to wait for April data to get a better picture of overall sugar drawdown (consumption?).
27 May 2020 (Nordzucker) Nordzucker closed the 2019/2020 financial year with a slight increase in revenues and an operating loss, which was significantly lower than the previous year's loss and lower than expected. The realignment of the sales strategy, the significant streamlining of the organization and comprehensive permanent cost reductions contributed to the improved results.
This biannual report, published in May and November, includes data on U.S. and global trade, production, consumption and stocks, as well as analysis of developments affecting world trade in sugar.
22 May 2020 (Terre-net.fr) Saint Louis Sucre a annoncé le prix final des betteraves pour la campagne 2019 au cours de la réunion de la commission de la répartition de la valeur, qui s’est tenue le 19 mai dernier. Il sera en moyenne, tout inclus, de 24,87 €/t à 16° en forfait collet.
21 May 2020 (Stable) The UK's new global agricultural commodity tariffs were set by the UK Government. The limited changes safeguarding the farming industry have been welcomed but concerns remain within the agricultural sector with future bilateral trade agreements looming.
20 May 2020 (@sugartraders). Just 1,500 tonnes of #CXL erga omnes licences for this month. ACP+LDC just 5,202 tonnes so far in May. Central America imports 9,244 tonnes so far, 2,893 tonnes from Colombia, 1,591 tonnes of refined sugar from South Africa, small quantities from the others. More details: www.julianprice.com
After a wet start in many beet growing areas followed by a dry spring, EU sugar beet now needs more rain and/or irrigation, not to mention more chemical sprays to combat aphids (vectors of virus yellows). We're only a month or three into the season at the moment, with six to ten months to go before lifting and delivery to the factories, so it's too early to forecast reliably for the 2021/20 campaign. But that said, JRC MARS today forecasts roughly average EU27 yields this year, poorer than average in Poland but better than average in Netherlands, France and Germany.
19 May 2020 How to check the tariffs that will apply to goods you import when the UK Global Tariff takes effect on 1 January 2021.
Oxford University / Blavatnik School of Government: Governments are taking a wide range of measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This tool aims to track and compare policy responses around the world, rigorously and consistently.
15 May 2020 (Dr Fred Zeller, VSZ.de, via YouTube) Interesting, quite nicely personal interview with Dr Pörksen by the managing director of the South German Sugar Beet Growers Association, which represents the interests of majority shareholders in Südzucker. Dr Pörksen briefly presents the 2019/20 financial report, the problems with Covid-19 and how the company has responded quite well to it, and talks a little about future plans. The good results this year are thanks to non-sugar activities; not surprisingly, the Sugar division again posted negative results. Diversification, funded through Sugar's capital contributions, has been key and will remain part of future strategy, but each division's profitability will be assessed independently. Restructuring of Sugar has been partially implemented so far, "but we're not finished yet". In future, Südzucker is looking to profits of between 300 to 400 million euros (€116m this year after €27m last year).
15 May 2020 (IEG Vu) ED&F Man Holdings Ltd. posted a profit in the first half of its fiscal year, signaling the start of a turnaround for the commodities trader that had been struggling with low sugar margins, Bloomberg reported. Unaudited results for last year pointed to a third consecutive annual loss as the London-based trader wrote down the value of some of its assets. Since then, the group sold its shipping division and its Chilean unit Iansa agreed to sell its pet food business. Results were hit by a USD46 mln charge for “legacy costs,” which relates to some of the company’s under-performing sugar assets, the people said. In recent years, ED&F Man shut its sugar refinery in Israel, divested its Sugat business in the country and sold its Singapore sugar business to Mitsui & Co. In Mexico, the company’s joint venture, Azucar Grupo Saenz, has also struggled to make profits.
15 May 2020 (gov.uk) The UK's Ambassador to the WTO and UN in Geneva, Julian Braithwaite, delivered a statement to the WTO General Council on 15 May 2020.
"It is important that this crisis does not set back the important work that the WTO has been tasked with. Beyond ensuring the reinstatement of a fully functioning dispute resolution system, and continuing the crucial regular monitoring and transparency work, we need to continue to work on live negotiations. These negotiations - including on fisheries subsidies, e-commerce, MSMEs, domestic regulation in services and investment facilitation for development– are a critical part of a broader discussion on how this institution should better meet the needs of 21st century business and society."
14 May 2020 (foodmanufacture.co.uk) The Government has voted against an amendment to the UK’s Agriculture Bill that would have guaranteed high standards for food and drink entering the country post-Brexit. The Duchy of Lancaster Minister Michael Gove had told a recent committee in the House of Lords that the "UK would maintain its own standards of animal welfare, not because it would win 'brownie points' from the EU but because they were right for the UK". The NFU had written to all 650 MPs, urging them to ensure the new Agriculture Bill guaranteed that food imported into the UK in any potential trade deals met the same high standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety as those required of producers in the UK.
13 May 2020 (Investing.com) Market Overview Analysis by Andy Hecht covering: USD/BRL, Crude Oil WTI Futures, US Sugar #11 Futures, US Corn Futures.
13 May 2020 (Platts Insight) At the start of 2020 European sugar producers could have been forgiven for thinking the worst was behind them.
12 May 2020 (Dr Liam Fox via ConservativeHome.com) One of the other serious, though I am sure unintended, consequences of passing these [Agriculture Bill] amendments would be that it would be impossible for Britain to conclude free trade agreements with developing countries, including those in the Commonwealth. We have spent a great deal of time and effort in persuading these countries, at the WTO in Geneva, that we will be on their side post-Brexit, and that we will use our newfound freedom to help open up free and fair global trade. We have declared that we will not follow the protectionist behaviour of the EU which gives aid with one hand but erects barriers to trade with the other. So were these amendments to take effect, not only would we be accused of betrayal by those who have such high hopes for an independent UK trade policy, but we would be likely to bring ourselves politically into conflict with the development NGOs.
7 May 2020 (Reuters) Italian bond yields rose to two-week highs on Thursday as euro zone bonds remained under pressure due to more hefty issuance while the German court ruling targeting an ECB bond purchase programme remained in focus.
1 May 2020 (Euractiv) The 23rd June will mark the fourth anniversary of the UK’s decision to leave the EU. But while the UK has officially been out of the bloc since 31 January, the talks on future relations underscore how little has changed in those years.
28 Apr 2020 (DTIC - South Africa) Exploratory discussion about finding solutions led to the recommendation that the industry as a whole needs to propose a long-term vision and industrial plan that takes into account the impact of global developments and the shifting landscape in the sugar sector.
30 Apr 2020 (South African Canegrowers) The finalisation of the sugar industry Masterplan is a milestone and we must make sure the social and economic impact of Covid-19 does not undo this ground breaking work.
29 Apr 2020 (Daily Telegraph) Liz Truss (UK Secretary of State for International Trade); Simon Birmingham (Australia’s Trade Minister); David Parker (New Zealand’s Trade Minister) and Chan Chun Sing (Singapore’s Minister for Trade) set out a vision for a free-trading future.
26 Apr 2020 (Archer Consulting) The sugar market continues to follow a path of agony that has crossed the 10 cents per pound and is now heading towards 9 cents, reverberating the global crisis caused by coronavirus, the melting of the price of oil in the international market inaugurating negative prices and the sharp devaluation of the real (which reached 5.7480 on Friday).
A phrase from Bertrand Russell is well suited to these dark times: "The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt."
23 Apr 2020 (European Commission). Under the New EU-Mexico agreement in principle, full liberalization will reach more than 85% of lines which had not been liberalized. Exclusion of products has been kept to the strict minimum and refers *only to the sugar sector*. Increased market access has been negotiated for ethanol (25.000 t phased-in in 5 years) and raw sugar for refining only (30.000 t at 49€/t phased-in in 3 years).
22 Apr 2020 (Reuters) Germany’s agriculture minister said on Wednesday she is concerned about the impact of continued dry weather on crops and that a third drought year could hit farms “incredibly hard”.
Suedzucker, Europe's largest sugar refiner, on Wednesday forecast a strong increase in earnings in its new financial year despite the coronavirus pandemic casting doubt on expectations its core sugar market will improve.
24 Apr 2020 (gov.uk) “However, limited progress was made in bridging the gaps between us and the EU" ... "we will not make progress on the so called "level playing field" and the governance provisions until the EU drops its insistence on imposing conditions on the UK which are not found in the EU’s other trade agreements and which do not take account of the fact that we have left the EU as an independent state".
23 Apr 2020 (Eurctiv) The EU Executive gave way to the pressure from the EU lawmakers and the agri-food industry announcing exceptional market measures on Wednesday (22 April), after having said there was not enough money left over for their deployment less than a week ago.
21 Apr 2020 (WTO) At a virtual meeting of G20 agriculture ministers today (21 April), WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo urged them to “act collectively to ensure that our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic do not unintentionally create food shortages”.
21 Apr 2020 (USDA) The Covid-19 (“Coronavirus”) crisis triggered a severe shortage of disinfectants world-wide. That is why the Austrian agricultural processor AGRANA decided to use its own bioethanol production to produce disinfectants.
21 Apr 2020 (Associated British Foods) AB Sugar revenue was 8% ahead of last year in the first half due to higher EU sugar prices and increased export sales at Illovo more than offsetting a decline in sales volumes in Spain. The increase in adjusted operating profit in the first half was a result of these higher EU prices, a much-improved crop in China and reductions in the costs of sugar production. This was partially offset by Illovo, following a reduction in high margin domestic sales in South Africa and later profit phasing with weather curtailing the end of the processing season. Most of the improvement in Sugar profit this year will be delivered in the second half as a result of this phasing of Illovo profit and a larger proportion of our contracts reflecting the higher EU sugar prices.
20 Apr 2020 (julianprice.com) The @europeancommission reports today that the average EU+UK EXW #sugar price rose 10 €/t to 370 €/t in February. Indications are that spot sugar prices have fallen since then owing to the pandemic - we shall see!
20 Apr 2020 (@JavierBlas on Twitter) HISTORIC CHART: WTI May oil futures settle at -$37.63 a barrel (yes, that's negative price). Of course, it goes without saying: that's an all-time low | #OOTT #OilPriceWar #covid19 via @TheTerminal
20 Apr 2020 (European Commission) EU sugar production is estimated at 17.4 million t (1.5% below the previous year) in 2019/2020. A further decrease in sugar beet area forecast for 2020/2021.
With bad crops in India and Thailand, the global market is still expected to end in deficit, but less than anticipated in earlier global forecasts.
The pressure on EU+UK prices is expected to remain limited for the moment as EU exports for the current marketing year 2019/2020 have significantly decreased, and hence direct exposure to world markets is low.
18 Apr 2020 (RTÉ) On Wednesday Michel Barnier and David Frost held a video call for 45 minutes. With both men back from coronavirus convalescence it was an opportunity to inject political momentum into the stuttering negotiations on Britain's future relationship with the EU.
In what was described as a constructive meeting, both sides agreed three negotiating rounds between now and June on the weeks beginning 20 April (this Monday), 11 May and 1 June.
17 Apr 2020 (gov.uk) Agenda for second round UK-EU Future Relationship Negotiations: 20-24 April 2020.
17 Apr 2020 (Reuters) Brazilian sugar and ethanol companies are going into survival mode, cutting back harvest operations and tapping into credit lines to weather the slump in fuel demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
17 Apr 2020 (CanaOnline) Brazil, the world's largest producer of sugarcane, has for many years also led the international market for the commodity. However, in the past two years, it has remained the largest producer of cane, but has lost that leadership in the international sugar market to India. This was because most of the raw material was directed to the production of ethanol, due to the higher remuneration of biofuel and the fall in the international value of sugar.
17 Apr 2020 (LIZ-online) The summer temperatures of the past few weeks have given the beet a welcome boost to development. We are currently seeing well-developed and evenly growing beet in all regions. However, the current lack of rainfall also means that some seeds are "dry" on the areas sown later. In these cases, the field emergence will take some time to come - there is a risk to the beet.
17 Apr 2020 (Food Ingredients First) "The continuation of trading through open markets is absolutely vital to help aid the global economic recovery and protect the economies of many supplying countries. We have seen some countries introduce trade restrictions that may have the unfortunate consequence of impeding the flow of goods between nations,” stress the British food sector stakeholders.
14 Apr 2020 (Reuters) - Sugar production in south-central Brazil has the potential to reach 35.8 million tonnes in the current season (2020/21), a volume 35% above that seen in the previous harvest, but this estimate may be altered depending on the impact of the coronavirus in the sector, Archer Consulting estimated on Monday.
Ethanol production, on the other hand, may reach 26.2 billion liters, a drop of more than 20% in relation to the volume of the previous cycle, with the production of anhydrous material falling by 9%, to 9 billion liters, and that of hydrate plummeting. more than 25%, to 17.2 billion liters.
14 Apr 2020 (UNICA) The Center-South region of Brazil concluded the 2019/2020 harvest with 589.90 million tons of processed sugarcane, an increase of almost 3% over the 573.17 million tons registered in the 2018/2019 season. In effect, the quality of the raw material increased to 138.57 kg of Total Recoverable Sugars (ATR) per ton of sugarcane, against 137.88 kg in the 2018/2019 cycle. This growth, in line with the greater crushing, resulted in an increase of 3.43% in the global quantity of products available, which added up to 81.74 million tons of ATR. Only 34.32% of this amount was used for sugar production, the lowest percentage of the last 22 years. With that, the manufacturing of sugar reached 26.73 million tons, similar to the 26.51 million tons in the 2018/2019 harvest.
14 Apr 2020 (Fijian Broadcasting Corp.) 130 employees of the Fiji Sugar Corporation have been sent on four months unpaid leave as COVID-19 takes a toll on the sugar industry.
14 Apr 2020 (European Parliament) Members will discuss the Compromise amendments to the AGRI Report on Transitional regulation prepared by Elsi Katainen (FI, RE). 400 amendments were tabled and, on the basis of those amendments, over 20 compromise amendments were proposed by the Rapporteur. Due to the current restrictions the process is being done electronically and in writing. The Rapporteur and the Shadow rapporteurs are doing their utmost to ensure that the vote can take place by the end of April.
14 Apr 2020 (European Commission DG TAXUD) From 31 March 2020 improved rules apply to trade between the EU and Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe.
13 Apr 2020 (Ragus) With countries in lockdown seeing a massive uplift in purchases of stable foodstuffs, including sugar-rich convenience foods, the transfer of sugar consumption to the private home has seen an increase in the supply of industrial sugar. With the situation certain to continue, Ragus lifts the lid on how this may affect the global sugar supply in the coming months. Market position: lockdown causes a surge in home sugar consumption while ethanol demand plummets. Times of crisis create concerns over food supply lines. In response, agricultural commodities, such as sugar, tend to perform well. The last two weeks have seen consumers hoard bread, flour and pasta. If this continues, individual countries may have to start stockpiling foodstuffs, leading to a surge in demand for sugar.
13 April 2020 (LinkedIn) Südzucker Organic Beet Sugar – now Bioland certified! A very well-known, high standard and trusted association is #Bioland, having over 45 years of experience in the regional organic agriculture business. We are happy to announce, that #Südzucker now also offers Bioland certified organic beet sugars to our industry partners. Did you know that more than 90% of our organic beets are grown within a 150km radius of our production (crop year 2019)? Next organic beet sugar campaign will take place in Rain am Lech/Bavaria. This guarantees short transportation and local processing of the Bioland organic sugar beets into high-quality #Bioland certified organic beet sugar by #Südzucker.
8 Apr 2020 (Agreste) The Ministry of Agriculture and Food estimates that in 2020, the area sown to cereals will decrease by 4.3% to 7.3 million hectares. Rapeseed would continue to decline (-2.8% over one year and -25.1% compared to 2015-2019). The area sown to sugar beet is estimated to decline by 5.2% to 423,000 hectares.
6 Apr 2020 (Loop News Caribbean) The Caribbean’s sugar industry has been described as healthy by the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC). Investments worth over US$250million have been made into the regional sugar industry with the goal of increasing production, efficiency and moving to higher-value food-grade products to meet the demand of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) market. “Changes to the traditional European Union (EU) market, which destroyed any preferential value for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar producers, has inspired a new regional vision for sugar, as a modern, efficient agro-industry, providing food security and livelihoods for over 400,000 Caribbean citizens,” the spokesman said.
3 Apr 2020 (Farmers Weekly) Nick Morris, head of central agriculture at beet processor British Sugar, says about two-thirds of the crop is now drilled, with the expected beet area up 4% at 104,000ha, from just over 100,000ha last year. After a slightly later start than usual, good winds through March have helped land dry out quickly on all but the heaviest of soils. “The crop has gone in really well and it’s been a great start to the season, with drying winds in March leading to a continuous drilling period unbroken by bad weather,” he says.
6 Apr 2020 (Jonathan Saxty for the Daily Telegraph) "No one is suggesting Canzuk shares a currency. Indeed, Canada had its own currency during the British Empire’s heyday. No one is suggesting pegging currencies. No one is suggesting Saskatchewan makes laws for New South Wales (or vice versa). But these countries are family and no, we are not talking about ethnicity (I, for one, would extend Canzuk to all sixteen Commonwealth Realms). We are talking about the very fabric of these places: values, ideals and place in the world".
2 Apr 2020 (@sugartraders) EU sugar stocks are low but seem adequate.
2 Apr 2020 (IFPRI) The organization of food supply chains (FSCs) is strongly affected by the level of economic development and factors such as urbanization and globalization. COVID-19 will thus have different impacts on FSCs in poor vs. in rich countries. Tom Reardon, Marc Bellemare and David Zilberman identify these structural differences and draw out the implications of widespread lockdowns and possible policy responses.