Sugar Statshot: A Global Sugar Production Surplus in 2023/24?!

Insight Focus

  • Drier weather in Central South Brazil extends sugar cane crushing into the rainy season.
  • We now forecast a tiny sugar production surplus in 2023/24.
  • Europe is currently having a successful beet harvest, yet rains are posing challenges…

2023/24 at a Glance…

Global Sugar Production

We forecast that the world will produce 178.4 million tonnes of sugar in 2023/24, the third-highest output on record and a 2.5 million tonne increase from our November forecast.

The increase is largely thanks to Centre-South Brazil, the world’s largest cane growing region. We think it will make 41.5m tonnes of sugar this season thanks to excellent weather, which has boosted cane productivity.

Although global sugar production in 2023/24 could be the third highest on record, sugar production remains almost exactly in the middle of its 12-year range of 160-190 million tonnes. Sugar consumption around the world continues to grow, so we will need production to step higher in future seasons to avoid future deficits.

Global Sugar Consumption

We think that global sugar consumption will exceed 178 million tonnes in 2023/24.

Global sugar consumption has continued to grow even in the face of high prices. We expect this trend to persist alongside population growth, resulting in an additional 2 million tonne consumption increase into 2024/25.

A Production Surplus?

With upwards revisions made to production for CS Brazil and other several minor sugar-producing countries, we think that global sugar production and consumption will be balanced in 2023/24.

While the statistics show a 200,000-tonne sugar production surplus across the season, major Northern Hemisphere cane harvests are only now beginning. They will have a major impact on the final outturn for the season, and in turn whether 2024/25 is a deficit year or not. The market remains on a knife-edge.

Production Update: EU 27 + UK

We think 2023/24 sugar production in the EU and UK could increase by as much as 1 million tonnes to 16.7 million tonnes.

The uptick in production is partly due to favourable weather conditions during the summer period, as well as the increased sugar beet acreage in Spain, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia.

Not only that, but Germany is also experiencing a successful harvest with their sugar output about 10% higher than in the previous season (2022/23).

However, the concern now lies in the heavy rainfall during the harvesting period, making it difficult for farmers to access their fields.

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