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Russian Sugar Prices Fall Twice as Fast as World Market on Crop

Bloomberg, 05.10.11

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Russia's domestic wholesale sugar prices fell 30 percent in the past two months on record production, allowing for increased exports to Central Asia, the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies said.

The price fell to 21,200 rubles ($662.78) a metric ton yesterday, down 30 percent from July 18, said Evgeny Ivanov, an analyst at the institute, known as Ikar. That's twice the decline for white, or refined, sugar traded in London over the same period. Domestically grown sugar beet output is 70 percent higher so far this year, Russia's Sugar Producers' Union said.

"There is too much sugar and too many traders on the market at once, especially this year," Ivanov said by phone from Moscow today.

White, or refined, sugar prices on NYSE Liffe in London fell 15 percent since July 18 to $643.80 a ton yesterday. Russia was able to sell more sugar to Central Asia, Ivanov said. The region includes Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and northern part of Afghanistan.

Russia didn't export sugar this year until April, selling sugar to Kazakhstan, according to Ikar data. Total sugar exports were 12,000 tons in August and about 6,000 tons in the first two weeks of September, Ivanov said. Total exports may be 200,000 tons this season, which started Aug. 1, he said.

Russia's sugar beets crop is expected to be a record 36 million to 40 million tons, with sugar production from the harvest at 5 million tons this year, according to the country's Agriculture Ministry data. Ikar estimates the sugar output at 4.3 million tons. The beet crop was 1.12 million tons as of yesterday, according to the sugar producers union.

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