Work Programme

Year 2019 Draft MECAS Work Program

Introduction

The Executive Director proposes to conduct a program of work for the Market Evaluation, Consumption and Statistics Committee (MECAS) as presented in this document for the year 2019.[1] The MECAS program is undertaken in addition to the Secretariat’s substantial regular commitments (see Annex 1 and 2).

There are six key components to MECAS activities, including:

· The Quarterly Market Outlook;

· The Monthly Market Report;

· ISO studies;

· ISO Sugar Yearbook;

· World Sugar Balances;

· ISO Ethanol Yearbook; and

· On-going monitoring of specific issues.

Activities proposed during 2019 for each of these components are presented below.

Quarterly Market Outlook

The Quarterly Market Outlook (one issue each quarter) provides analysis of recent and expected trends, developments and issues in the world sugar, alternative sweeteners, and molasses markets, as well as in the sugar-crop based renewable energy markets (fuel ethanol, cogeneration). Recent developments in the bioplastics/biochemicals field are analysed and updates and commentary on the WTO negotiations on Agriculture and on Regional Trade Agreements are also provided. Each issue provides timely analysis and review of:

· world sugar price behaviour;

· consumption, production, trade and stocks of sugar, alternative sweeteners and their feedstocks and molasses;

· consumption, production and trade in ethanol, developments in national fuel ethanol programs, as well as ethanol feedstock price developments;

· currency movements and domestic prices for sugar and ethanol;

· national sugar policy developments (twice yearly);

· trade developments;

· the world sugar balance including individual estimates for 160 countries;

· white and raw sugar trade balances;

· quarterly world sugar balances;

· in-depth analysis of the most focal issues (Special Focus section);

· the price dynamics of other commodity markets;

· bioplastics and biochemicals

· cogeneration; and

· the WTO Negotiations on Agriculture and Regional Trade Agreements.

The content of the Quarterly Market Outlook will be a focus of attention at the twice yearly MECAS Meetings, along with the ISO studies.

Monthly Market Report

 

The Monthly Market Report provides market information for the previous month covering all the important sugar and ethanol market developments during the previous month (including information on world sugar market – conditions & prospects, country summaries, new sugar production projects, fuel ethanol in key players, alternative sweeteners & other uses of sugar or sugar cane & beet, bioplastics and biochemicals, cogeneration, WTO and regional trade agreements, as well as ISO news).

ISO Studies

The ISO Secretariat has adopted the target of preparing six studies in 2019, consistent with our expected resource level (as discussed later).

Selection of Studies

ISO studies are prepared to meet two key outcomes crucial to the achievement of our strategic direction:

  • Members benefit from improved transparency in world sugar trade; and
  • Members are fully informed about key drivers and emerging issues impacting the world sugar, sweeteners, renewable energy (fuel ethanol and cogeneration), bioplastics/biochemicals and related markets.

All of the proposed study topics for 2019 are consistent with the ISO’s Strategic Direction.

ISO studies are aimed at providing members with objective, factual, professional and timely assessments of developments relating to the key drivers impacting the global markets for sugar, sweeteners, fuel ethanol, sugarcane-based electricity generation, bioplastics/biochemicals and related commodities.

Each year the ISO Secretariat also consults with members in devising the priority listing of research topics, which for 2019 are given in Annex 3.

At each MECAS meeting, the studies to be undertaken from this list for the upcoming MECAS meeting will be discussed. This approach is taken because the sugar, sweeteners, and sugar-crop based renewable energy markets are dynamic and developments are often unforeseeable over the medium term. The approach also ensures that the ISO does not lock itself into research topics which may become no longer relevant.

ISO Sugar Yearbook

This yearbook provides comprehensive coverage of sugar production, consumption, trade and stocks for the whole world. About 350 pages, nearly 325 country tables. Individual countries tables show production, consumption and trade by countries of origin and destination for the last eight years. 18 world tables including raw and white sugar trade and per capita consumption. The most complete, authoritative and up to date source of world sugar statistics available.

ISO Ethanol Yearbook

The Ethanol Yearbook offers around 100 pages of both comprehensive statistics and in-depth analysis of the world fuel ethanol market. The Yearbook includes data on world fuel ethanol production, consumption and trade as well as individual national balances with data series on production, import, export, consumption, stocks and prices for key countries. Detailed statistics also contain historical data on the share of sugar cane/beet allocation to ethanol, ethanol content by tonne of cane, types of fuel ethanol produced, sugar cane/beet pricing, ethanol/ gasoline blending ratio, ethanol export revenues, ethanol vs. sugar realization as well as alternative ethanol feedstock statistics for leading fuel ethanol producers.

On-going monitoring of specific issues

The ISO also maintains a watching brief on specific issues on an on-going basis, reporting relevant information to members as they arise, and as resources allow, including:

(a) Sugar, Human Health and Nutrition

- To survey, review and disseminate information evaluating the nutritional and health aspects of sugar, with a view to reducing public prejudice against sugar, facilitating promotion of consumption.

- To disseminate information regarding proposed and announced sugar taxes and other fiscal and policy measures against sugar.

- To provide members with up-to-date information in conjunction with relevant WHO activities.

- To provide members with current information on taxes on sugar-containing products.

- To provide members with worldwide trends in per capita sugar consumption in the context of calorie intake and health issues.

(c) Sugar and the Environment

- To monitor environmental issues and their possible impacts on the sugar industries of member countries.

(e) Standardisation and Certification

- To monitor and review sugar as well as beet and cane derived products certified to have been produced in a socially and environmentally sustainable way.

Resource Availability and Requirements

Professional staff time available including the three economists during 2019 is 138 weeks – as shown in the table below. Of this total, 32 weeks are anticipated to be required to effectively execute regular non-MECAS activities (see below together with annex 1 for a description of these activities). At 106 weeks, human resources available for MECAS activities in 2019 are the same as in previous years.

Activity
Person Weeks
MECAS

106

Quarterly Market Outlook

31

Monthly Market Report

6

ISO Studies

46

On-going monitoring

3

ISO Sugar Year Book

10

ISO Ethanol Year Book

10



Other Commitments and Activities

32

TOTAL

138


Annex 1  Regular Commitments 2019

Activity
 
Objective
 
Output
 
Timing of Release
 
Sugar Statistics
To compile exhaustive, accurate statistics on key economic variables in the world sugar economy and to disseminate such data on a timely basis.
ISO Sugar Year Book.
Monthly Statistical Bulletin.
August (online)
September (hard copy)
Around the 5th day of each month (statistics relating to the previous month)
Sugar Market Monitoring and Analysis
To conduct timely, objective, relevant analyses of economic developments and trends in the world sugar trade, and to widely disseminate this market information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report
February, May, August, November.
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)
Ethanol market and national fuel ethanol programs monitoring and analysis
To conduct timely, objective, and relevant analyses of trends and developments in ethanol production, consumption, trade and national support policy, and to widely disseminate this market information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report
February, May, August, November
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)
Ethanol Statistics
and Outlook
To compile exhaustive, accurate statistics on key economic variables in the world ethanol economy.
To provide a written assessment of the outlook for ethanol production, consumption over the coming decade.
To disseminate such data and analysis on a timely basis.
ISO Ethanol Year Book.
September
Analysis of related issues and markets
To conduct timely and relevant analysis of currency moments, domestic prices, related markets and commodities and to widely disseminate this information
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report
February, May, August, November
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)
Alternative Sweeteners & By-products monitoring and analysis
- High Fructose Corn Sweetener
- Intensive Sweeteners
- Molasses
To conduct timely, objective, relevant analyses of economic developments and trends in the world markets for alternative sweeteners and molasses, and to widely disseminate this market information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report
February, May, August, November
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)
Bioplastics/biochemicals and cogeneration
To conduct timely, objective, relevant analyses of the developments and trends in the bioplastics/biochemicals and cogeneration sectors world-wide, and to widely disseminate this information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
February, May, August, November
In-depth analysis of focal market issues
To provide a thorough assessment of key evolving economic drivers in the sugar/ethanol markets not covered by the ISO MECAS studies.
Quarterly Market Outlook: Special Focus
February, May, August, November
WTO/RTA/FTA monitoring and analysis
To conduct timely, objective, relevant analyses of the WTO negotiations on agriculture and progress of Regional Trade Agreements and Free Trade Agreements and to widely disseminate this market information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report.
February, May, August, November
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)
ISO Seminar and Workshop
To conduct a seminar and workshop each year addressing relevant and important issues in the world sugar trade and related matters.
ISO Seminar and proceedings.
ISO Workshop and proceedings.
November (online)
May (online)
MECAS Meetings
To provide new economic information about global markets for sugar, sweeteners, fuel ethanol and bagasse-based electricity generation as well as emerging diversification opportunities such as bioplastics and biochemical.
MECAS Meetings and MECAS Papers.
May/June and November/December, in conjunction with International Sugar Council Sessions


Other Activities for 2019

Activity
 
Objective
 
Output
 
Timing
 
Database maintenance/enhancement
To ensure software and programming support for the efficient collation of statistics and the production of publication-ready tables.
Contributes to production of ISO Year books and Monthly Statistical Bulletin.
As required.
Joint Events:
Planning, organisation and execution.
To prominently position the ISO and increase its visibility.
To strengthen the ISO’s image and reputation as the worldwide recognised centre of excellence
As required.
Preparation of papers/speeches for major international fora
Constructive participation and contributions to world sugar and ethanol related fora.
Wide dissemination of ISO studies and statistics.
ISO papers and speeches.
As required/invited.
General matters, administration, information requests
To ensure efficient and effective operation of the ISO Secretariat and the ISA’92.
Meet provisions of the ISA’92.
As required.


Annex 2: Summary of Planned Publications: 2019

Publication
 
J
 
F
 
M
 
A
 
M
 
J
 
J
 
A
 
S
 
O
 
N
 
D
ISO Sugar Year Book 2019








·



ISO Ethanol Year Book 2019








·



Monthly Market Report
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
Quarterly Market Outlook

·


·


·


·

World Sugar Balances

·


·


·


·

Statistical Bulletin
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
Workshop Proceedings 2019






·





Seminar Proceedings 2019











·
ISO study 1




·







ISO study 2




·







ISO study 3




·







ISO study 4










·

ISO study 5










·

ISO study 6










·

ISO Work Programme: 2020










·


Annex 3: Proposed Topics for ISO Studies in 2019.

Project Number

Title

Objective

Explanatory Notes

Minimum Person Weeks

2019/1
Survey of Cane and Beet Payment Systems
To review and analyse different cane/beet payment systems in terms of how they allocate industry revenue between growers/processors and how they embody different incentives for both groups to pursue expanding production and technical efficiency. Also to be considered are questions following diversification on how new income streams should be shared.
The last time the ISO specifically addressed the issue was in 2006. The study is expected to encompass feedback provided by Members in reply to a questionnaire prepared by the Secretariat and circulated at the beginning of 2019.

8

2019/2
Survey of Domestic Prices for Sugar
 
To update the database and analyse the dynamics of key factors determining the level of domestic prices for sugar and how they compare to world prices.
The last time the ISO specifically addressed the issue of domestic prices was in 2015. The study will also assess how recent volatility in world market values has affected domestic prices for sugar. The study is expected to encompass feedback provided by Members in reply to a questionnaire prepared by the Secretariat and circulated at the beginning of 2019.

8

2019/3
An Overview of the Asian Sugar Trade
To review and update the dynamic sugar market situation in select countries of the Asian region. To quantify the Asian sugar trade, its trends and its restrictions, and to review the global impact of the region within the sugar and ethanol markets.
No previous ISO study so far has covered the region as a whole, but we feel it’s appropriate to take this wider overview as national sugar market dynamics and regional sugar policy converges.

8

2019/4
World Sugar Demand Prospects until the End of the Next Decade
To review the drivers impacting world sugar demand in view of deriving projections for world and regional sugar consumption by 2030.
The ISO consumption model was developed in 2004 and updated in 2006 and 2010. This study will provide an update to the income and population elasticities of demand worldwide and by region as well as quantify the relationship between other emerging drivers and world/regional sugar consumption growth.

7

2019/5
Fuel Ethanol in the Biofuel World – the Post 2020 Landscape
To review recent policy developments and other key drivers of world fuel ethanol consumption, production and trade to prepare projections for the coming decade with a view to determining the implications for the world sugar market.
This paper provides an update to a 2012 MECAS paper on “World Fuel Ethanol Outlook to 2020”.
The automotive industry is on the verge of a major disruption from new technology, as the world attempts to shift from fossil-fueled vehicles to lower emission alternatives. Recent policies – including Brazil and India’s biofuels programmes – as well as shifts in consumer preferences, are poised to affect biofuel uptake in the coming decade.

8

2019/6
An Update of Ocean Freight – What is the Impact on Sugar?
The shipping world is evolving, with new-builds, stricter fuel legislation and a dynamic customer base for sugar. Ocean freight costs are also destination dependent. A fresh look at the world of ocean freight will capture the impact of bigger vessels and competition from containers.
This paper will update the 2005 MECAS Paper on Sugar Freight Rates: Trends and Prospects as well as the 2017 MECAS Paper on Trends in sugar trade logistics – which concentrated more specifically on container freight.

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[1] Article 33 of the 1992 International Sugar Agreement establishes MECAS. Paragraphs 2 and 3 of article 33 outline the scope of the work to be undertaken by the Committee, while paragraph 4 states that the Council shall consider each year a draft forward work programme.