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Russia in the 2020/21 agricultural year sharply reduced sugar exports, the CIS countries intensified the import of raw sugar

13 августа 2021 года

MOSCOW. Aug 11 (Interfax) - Russia dramatically reduced sugar exports in the agricultural year that just ended (August 2020-July 2021 for sugar), and raw sugar from outside the CIS, foremost Brazil, has poured into neighboring countries to fill this niche, monitoring by the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR) shows.

Russia exported about 440,000 tonnes of sugar (386,000 tonnes by rail) in the past agricultural year, which was down by about 70% from 1.5 million tonnes a year earlier, IKAR chief analyst Yevgeny Ivanov told Interfax, citing preliminary data.

Russian sugar exports tumble in 2020/2021, CIS countries ramp up raw sugar imports

The biggest markets for Russian sugar were Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan, to which, 248,000 tonnes, almost 66,000 tonnes, 27,000 tonnes and 18,000 tonnes, respectively, were shipped by rail from August through July.

"A particular feature of the past export season was that small marine shipments of sugar in containers continued. Almost 1,000 tonnes were shipped to Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Guinea and Israel in January-April 2021. Prior to that, in August-December 2020, more than 1,300 tonnes were exported to Benin and Israel," Ivanov said.

The niche of container shipments from Russia of any cargo, including sugar, is still undeveloped for many reasons, including underdeveloped logistics, but it has considerable potential, he said.

The drop in exports was primarily due to a decrease in domestic production. Russia produced 5.47 million tonnes of sugar in the past agricultural year, according to preliminary figures, Ivanov said. This includes processing of syrup, molasses and more than 200,000 tonnes of sub-standard sugar produced in 2015-2019. In the previous season, sugar production totalled 7.86 million tonnes.

Russia's "departure from foreign markets led to neighboring countries, foremost CIS countries, to actively resume imports of raw sugar," Ivanov said. "And Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, including on tolling terms for CIS countries, joined this process after a long interval," he added.

Ukraine began importing raw sugar in April 2021 for the first time since 2016 and has already imported 123,000 tonnes, IKAR data show. Azerbaijan resumed importing raw sugar last August; Kazakhstan and Armenia began importing last October for the first time since July 2018, as did Uzbekistan, for the first time since January 2020. Kyrgyzstan started importing raw sugar in July 2021 after not having done so since July 2018.

Georgia, which has not imported raw sugar since November 2018, might also start doing so, Ivanov said. Furthermore, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan could export tens of thousands of tonnes of sugar made from raw sugar to Russia in 2021 and subsequent years, as imports of raw sugar are not subject to duties in these countries and have risen sharply since last fall. Or these countries could ship all their beet sugar to Russia, he said.

However, he recalled that the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) has decided to impose quotas on duty-free imports of white sugar into Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries until September 30, 2021. "Now the main thing for all countries that have received quotas is to not overdo it in importing duty-free sugar, as well as with beet crop areas in subsequent years," Ivanov said.

If Russia produces more than 6.2 million-6.4 million tonnes of sugar (including processing of syrup and molasses) this year and in subsequent agricultural years, and the usual imports from Belarus remain at 150,000-250,000 tonnes, it is "highly likely that the domestic market is in for a substantial slump in wholesale prices for sugar and beets, at least in the fall and at most for the whole season," Ivanov said.

Source: Interfax  |  #sugar   |  Comments: 0   Views: 31

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