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Sugar #11 May '19 (SBK19)

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Sugar #11 Futures Market News and Commentary

Sugar Prices Close Higher on Strength in the Brazilian Real and a Rally in Crude Oil

May NY world sugar #11 (SBK19) on Wednesday closed up +0.55 (+0.55%) and May ICE London white sugar (SWK19) closed up +0.90 (+0.25%). Sugar prices rallied Wednesday with May NY sugar at a 3-1/2 month high and May London white sugar at a 1-month high. Strength in the Brazilian real spurred short-covering in sugar futures after the real rose to a 2-week high against the dollar. The stronger real discourages exports from Brazil's sugar producers. Also, a rally in crude oil prices to a 3-month high underpinned sugar prices since higher crude oil prices benefit ethanol prices and may prompt Brazil's sugar mills to divert more cane crushing toward ethanol production rather than sugar production, thus reducing sugar supplies. Also boosting sugar prices was Tuesday's projection from India's National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd that India 2019/20 sugar production will fall by at least -5% y/y to a 3-year low of 30 MMT. Also, Indonesia, the world's largest sugar importer, may import more sugar this year after Indonesia's Sugar Refiners Association said on Tuesday that refiners may import 3.2 MMT of raw sugar in 2019, up +5.3% y/y. Sugar prices are seeing underlying support from Unica's report last Tuesday that Brazil's 2018/19 Center-South sugar production during Oct-Jan was down -26.4% at 26.36 MMT, with 35.4% of cane used for sugar (down from 46.9% last year), and 64.56% of cane used for ethanol production (up from 53.1% last year).
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