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Russian Beet-Sugar Production May Reach Record High This Season

Bloomberg, 03.12.15

(Bloomberg) --Russia may produce more beet sugar this season than ever before, sharply reducing the need for imports, according to the domestic industry group.

Output may reach as much as 5.1 million metric tons in the 2015-16 season, the Moscow-based Union of Sugar Producers said on its website Wednesday. That would surpass the previous record of 5.03 million tons in 2011-12 season, according to union data.

Imports of raw sugar will probably fall to 300,000 tons, or less than half of last season’s amount, the union said. The Moscow-based Institute for Agricultural Market Studies expects Russia to produce 5.04 million tons of beet sugar and import 380,000 tons of raw sugar this season, according to Yevgeny Ivanov, the company’s analyst.

“The industry is demonstrating record efficiency,” Ivanov said. “Storage losses are down, while the quality of harvesting increased.”

Global sugar production for 2015-16 season will probably shrink as gains in Russia, Australia and Turkey aren’t expected to make up for reductions in Brazil, India, the European Union and Ukraine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Nov. 19. Russia is adding sugar-mill capacity at a pace that may lead to the nation producing as much as 5.7 million tons of beet sugar a season by 2020, or enough to meet domestic consumption, the union said.

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