Europe's sugar output forecast to fall 6.6% year-over-year to 28.2 million tonnes in 2012/2013, as farmers in Russia, Ukraine reduce planting area, researcher says

LOS ANGELES , May 11, 2012 () – Europe's sugar output will most likely fall 6.6% year-over-year to 28.2 million tonnes in 2012/2013, down from an estimated production of 30.2 million tonnes the previous year,
as farmers in Russia and Ukraine reduce their sugar plantings, according to researcher F.O. Licht GmbH, Bloomberg reported May 11.

If the estimate for Europe’s 2011/2012 sugar output is correct, it will constitute the region’s highest sugar output since 2005-2006, F.O. Licht added.

Although beet drillings in the European Union will be almost unchanged year-over-year, farmers in Russia and Ukraine are expected to reduce their sugar plantings following the 2011/2012 bumper crop, F.O. Licht analyst Stefan Uhlenbrock said in an emailed statement.

During the current season, Russia’s and Ukraine’s sugar output, respectively will likely rise 60% and 36% year-over-year, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The EU’s sugar production will likely decline year-over-year to 16.8 million tonnes, a 1.2 million-tonne drop, because of unfavorable weather. Russia’s sugar production will likely fall to 5 million tonnes in 2012/2013, down from 5.5 million tonnes, F.O. Licht said.

While EU sugar plantings will remain unchanged year-over-year at 1.42 million hectares (3.5 million acres) in 2012/2013, Russian sugar plantings will likely fall 6% to 1.174 million hectares, driven by the limited capacity of factories that has left them unable to process the entire 2011-2012 sugar beet harvest, Uhlenbrock said.

The 2012-2013 European sugar crop will likely be above average, despite the decline in sugar beet plantings, partially driven by a fast and early sugar beet sowing period. In the midst of a heavy global sugar surplus, this crop could potentially “be more difficult [for the region] to dispose of,” he added.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on May 11, 2012.

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