Sugar Industry News : November 2018
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The world price ended the month well up at 13.2 US¢/lb :
Earlier in the month it had peaked at more or less exactly 14¢/lb so maybe we are seeing something of a recovery?
ALVEAN BLEEDS TRADERS
Alvean, the Copersucar / Cargill joint venture sugar trading house has lost its COO and six others in the last month or so. Alvean is said to be the world's 'top' trader. What is not at all clear is whether it is a mass migration or not and , if it is, whether we are seeing the start of a new trading house [backed by whom?] or just the bolstering of an existing one.
CRISTAL UNION CONFIRMS LOSS
French cooperative Cristal Union has confirmed that it will make a loss in the current year despite having reduced its beet price from a minimum of € 27/t to between € 22 and 24/t. It has also stated that it is expecting to slice only 13 million tons due to a 'severe drought' in France.
DANGOTE TO HELP GHANA GROW SUGAR
Aliko Dangote is reported to have stated that he is about to invest in Ghana sugar in to help revitalise the Ghanaian economy. Perhaps he is the person that President Akufo-Addo had in mind when, as reported in last month's news, he said that his government was looking for a strategic investor.
INDIA REVISES DOWN PRODUCTION 3.5 MILLION TONS
The Indian Sugar Mills Association [ISMA] has reduced its forecast for the year just started to 31.5 million tons. It was only three months ago that it was forecasting 35 million tons which would have probably taken it past Brazil as the largest crystal sugar producer.
ISMA has a range of excuses : diversion from crystal sugar to ethanol, September rains in western Uttar Pradesh, pest infestation in Maharashtra and Karnataka and low rainfall in Karnataka. None of them excuse the poor quality of the forecasting.
INDIA THREATENS LICENSES OF FACTORIES WITH UNPAID DUES
Indian factories are reported to still owe growers INR 90 billion [$ 1.25 billion] for the previous crop. The state of Maharashtra is now threatening its millers with a refusal to issue crushing licenses to any factory which has not cleared its dues. However, where will the millers find the money and what will happen to the current crop cane if there are maybe 40 factories unable to operate?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE ABOLISHES PHILSUCOR
The vision statement of the Philippine Sugar Corporation starts by saying that 'by 2018, Philsucor shall be an indispensable partner of the sugarcane industry'. Its mission is stated to be to actively assist the industry through innovative and diversified assistance programs. Clearly the President doesn't agree : at the end of October he issued a decree to abolish the organisation.
CUBA IMPORTING SUGAR
It seems that the last Cuban crop only produced about 1.1 million tons of sugar, well down on the 1.6 million budget [itself not a good figure]. The situation is so poor that the island is importing significant quantities of sugar just so that it can satisfy its contract to sell to China. France reports selling 40 000 tons in a three month period earlier this year.
CENTRE-SOUTH HIT BY EARLY RAINS
The centre-south rains started in September this year with, for instance, the crush down more than 25% in the second half of that month. There is already talk of the crop having to be extended although there not yet talk of standing cane.