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Russian 05 white sugar output seen up yr/yr-analyst

19 сентября 2005 года

MOSCOW, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Russian white sugar output this year may exceed last year's volumes due to good domestic beet crop prospects and an increase in raw cane sugar imports, an analyst said on Friday.

"It is quite definite that we will refine more beet sugar than last year, up to 2.4 million tonnes, maybe even more. But most likely the output will be close to 2.4 million tonnes," Yevgeny Ivanov from the independent Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR), told Reuters.

Russia refined a record 2.24 million tonnes of white sugar from domestic beet last year.

The Russian Sugar Producers Union, the industry lobby, has this year stopped publishing full data on sugar beet test results, which are used as an indicator of the future crop, as most regions have already started the harvesting campaign.

The latest statement by the union, made available to Reuters on Friday, provided data only from 11 of the 27 producing regions.

It said sugar content in beet ranged between 14.2 and 17.2 percent by Sept. 11, compared to an average of 14.9 percent a year ago. Root weight ranged between 357 and 700 grams, while at Sept. 11 last year it was 451 grams.

Russian farms had harvested 3.59 million tonnes of sugar beet by Sept. 13 from 15.4 percent of the total area of 811,500 hectares, compared with 2.65 million tonnes a year ago, the Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday.

Average yields fell to 28.77 tonnes per hectare from 30.36 tonnes.

Ivanov expected raw sugar imports this year to be 3.0-3.1 million tonnes.

"Preliminary estimates show that by the end of September imports may reach 2.75 million tonnes. The import tariff will go down from October and freight premiums are now very low! ," he said.

"Some companies may therefore prefer to buy sugar this year instead of next and to process it as soon as the sugar beet harvesting campaign is over."

He said some sugar cargoes stocked in Russian and Ukrainian ports or on board ships could cross the Russian border in October after the country lowered the import tariff on raws to $140 per tonne from the current $164.

Top sugar buyer Russia set a floating import tariff last year instead of an import quota, which resulted in a sharp decline in imports to 2.6 million tonnes in 2004 from 4.1 million in 2003.

Imports started rising this year after the tariff had been adjusted.

Ivanov said domestic raw and white sugar stocks in white sugar equivalent had risen to 1.25 million tonnes by Sept. 1 this year from 1.16 million a year ago.

Source: Reuters  |  #sugar   |  Comments: 0   Views: 70

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