Work Programme

Year 2017 Draft MECAS Work Program

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 2017.[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 2017 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 and fuel ethanol price behaviour;

· 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;

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

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

· 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 2017, 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 2017 are consistent with the ISO’s Strategic Plan and with analysis presented in the ISO’s study: “Key Drivers of the World Sugar Economy” – MECAS (02)08.

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 2017 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 400 pages, nearly 150 country tables. Individual countries tables show production, consumption and trade by countries of origin and destination for the last eight years. 18 general 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 120 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 provide members with up-to-date information in conjunction with relevant WHO activities.

- 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 2017 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 2014 are the same as in previous years.


[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.


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 2017

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 Year Book.
Monthly Statistical Bulletin.
September
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 & Press Summary.
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 & Press Summary.
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 & Press Summary.
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 & Press Summary.
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/biochemcials and cogeneration sectors world-wide, and to widely disseminate this information.
Quarterly Market Outlook.
Monthly Market Report & Press Summary.
February, May, August, November.
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month).
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 & Press Summary.
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 (cd-rom/online).
May (cd-rom/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 biochemicals.
MECAS Meetings and MECAS Papers.
May/June and November/December, in conjunction with International Sugar Council Sessions.


Other Activities for 2017

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: 2017

Publication
 
J
 
F
 
M
 
A
 
M
 
J
 
J
 
A
 
S
 
O
 
N
 
D
ISO Sugar Year Book 2017








·



ISO Ethanol Year Book 2017








·



Monthly Market Report and Press Summary
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
Quarterly Market Outlook

·


·


·


·

World Sugar Balances

·


·


·


·

Statistical Bulletin
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
Workshop Proceedings 2017





·






Seminar Proceedings 2017











·
ISO study 1



·








ISO study 2



·








ISO study 3



·








ISO study 4










.

ISO study 5










·

ISO study 6










·

ISO Work Program: 2018









·




Annex 3: Proposed Topics for ISO Studies in 2017

Project Number

Title

Objective

Explanatory Notes

Minimum Person Weeks

2017/1
Destination Refineries: trade impacts and competitiveness against EU sugar exports post 2017
 
In this paper the key drivers explaining the mushrooming of destination refining over the past decade will be explored. First, stock will be taken of the refining capacity that has already come on stream, and the major refinery projects due for completion within the next few years will be collated. The impact of destination refineries on the composition of trade in the most relevant importing regions will then be ascertained.
Destination refining capacity has mushroomed over the past decade in MENA and in Asia with capacity already having reached more than 22 mln tonnes. Additional capacity is due to come on stream and at the same time the EU is expected to boost white sugar exports post 2017. There could be intense competition amongst refiners and with EU exporters until steady consumption growth boosts sugar offtake over the longer term, particularly in Africa.

8

2017/2
Trends in Sugar Trade Logistics
To review and examine the constant process of innovation and optimization within sugar trade logistics (storage, transport, terminals, shipping) in order to ascertain cost and other implication for world trade in sugar.
Around 80% of the white sugar trade is now containerized (rather than break-bulk), representing a significant change in trade logistics over the past 2 decades. Another key area is commercial change in terms of the engagement of the sugar trade houses with logistics and logistics operators in Brazil. The sugar trade is not just an FOB buyer anymore but taking sugar ex-factory and in some cases running and investing in internal logistics as well as terminals – ED&F Man within Brazil for example. There is a constant process of innovation and optimization. Terminals are getting better, improving efficiencies and trying to mitigate risks from weather related slow-downs to fire related damage. Internal logistics are improving too and now rail transport is coming back in Brazil in order to improve efficiency and stability of the supply chain.

8

2017/3
Prospects for Brazil’s Sugar and Ethanol Industry
To provide an outlook for the Brazilian sugar/ethanol industry in the coming decade by analyzing recent developments in the sector, main drivers impacting competitiveness, production and consumption, as well as projections on sugar/ethanol exports over the next ten years.
The last time the ISO specifically addressed Brazil was in 2012.

8

2017/4
International Survey of Agricultural and Industrial Yields
To prepare an updated international survey on agricultural and industrial yields which will provide a useful guide to relative efficiency of producers.
The study will be the third update of the initial survey conducted in MECAS(99)18, which was update in 2005 and again in 2011.

7

2017/5
The Sugar Industry in the Caribbean: Key Drivers and Outlook
To ascertain the key economic and policy drivers impacting the sugar industry in the Caribbean, including Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Jamaica and Martinique, with a view to ascertaining the region’s future prospects over the next decade.
The Sugar region in the Caribbean is diverse and for those countries forming part of the ACP group, prospects are heavily shaped by the readiness of the industry (and governments) to adjust to a new trading environment following the abolition of quotas in the EU on 1st October 2017. This is compounded by Brexit which could impact the terms on which Tate and Lyle will purchase raw sugar for refining at their Thames Refinery. Cuba holds great potential with a supportive political conjuncture but must attract significant investment to boost output.

7

2017/6
CIS countries: Sugar Situation and Outlook
To review recent developments and drivers of the region’s sugar market and to prepare projections of production, consumption and trade for sugar to the year 2025.
The last time the ISO specifically addressed the CIS was in 2012. The region moves towards full self-sufficiency in sugar and both Belarus and Russia may even become exporters to the world market

8


 

Reserve Topics

Project Number

Title

Objective

Explanatory Notes

Minimum Person Weeks

2017/5
Sugar in an Evolving Trade Pact Landscape
 
To evaluate the potential for sugar related developments within major plurilateral regional trade agreements to impact the
world sugar market.
The ISO has not attempted to take a snap shot of sugar within key trade pacts since 2001 – MECAS(01)20: NAFTA and Other Latin American Trade Blocs: recent developments impacting sugar.

7

2017/6
Sugar, GM Sugar and Sustainability 
To review key industry standards for environmental sustainability (national and international) with a view to understanding the potential for sugar industries around the globe is to individually determine the benefits and costs of subscribing to any sustainability standard.
In terms of certified sustainable sugar, procurement personnel from food and beverage companies increasingly consider human rights, labour working conditions and environmental impacts of products when making purchasing decisions. Global retailers and leading brands are implementing codes of conduct and sourcing policies to manage risk and identify sustainable sugar opportunities. A key question is how does GM sugar mesh with these standards?

8