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Sugar #11 May '19 (SBK19)

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Sugar #11 Futures Market News and Commentary

Sugar Prices Higher on a Rally in Crude Oil and Forecasts for Reduced India Sugar Production

May NY world sugar #11 (SBK19) on Tuesday closed up +0.23 (+1.77%) and May ICE London white sugar (SWK19) closed up +1.30 (+0.36%). Sugar prices moved higher Tuesday with May NY sugar at a 1-month high and May London sugar at a 3-week high on supply concerns. India's National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd. on Tuesday projected that India 2019/20 sugar production will fall by at least -5% y/y to a 3-year low of 30 MMT. Also, a rally in crude oil prices on Tuesday to a 3-month high is another bullish factor for sugar prices since higher crude prices are positive for 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. In addition, Petrobras hiked Brazil's wholesale gasoline prices on Tuesday to 1.5970 reals/liter from 1.5581 reals/liter, which is positive for ethanol prices. May London white sugar gained some technical support after the contract last Friday moved above its 200-day moving average. May NY sugar tumbled to a 5-week low last Thursday after India raised the minimum selling price of sugar by 6.9%, below expectations for a 10% increase. A higher minimum sugar price may prompt India's sugar millers to sell more sugar in the domestic market and potentially reduce its sugar exports and global supply. A positive for sugar prices is 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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