Work Programme

Year 2021 Draft MECAS Work Program

Introduction

The Executive Director proposes to conduct a programme of work for the Market Evaluation, Consumption and Statistics Committee (MECAS) as presented in this document for the year 2021.[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 2021 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 macro-economic drivers and 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 fermentation-based bioplastics/biochemicals 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 programmes, 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 a focal issue (Special Focus section);

the price dynamics of other commodity markets;

fermentation-based 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, fermentation-based 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 2021, 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 2021 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, fermentation-based bioplastics/biochemicals and related commodities.

Each year the ISO Secretariat also consults with members in devising the priority listing of research topics, which for 2021 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 country 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.

On-going monitoring of specific issues

The ISO also maintains a watching brief on specific issues on an on-going basis, reporting relevant information, in a variety of formats, 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.

(b)     Sugar and the Environment

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

(c)     Sugar and Sustainable Development

To update, report and promote the abilities of the sugar industry as a vehicle for sustainable development.

(d)     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 2021 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 2021 are the same as in previous years.


Activity

Person Weeks

MECAS

106

Quarterly Market Outlook

31

Monthly Market Report

6

ISO Studies

48

On-going monitoring

3

ISO Sugar Year Book

10

ISO Ethanol Year Book

8



Other Commitments and Activities

32

TOTAL

138



Annex 1                                                                   Regular Commitments 2021

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)
Analysis of the molasses markets

To conduct timely and relevant analysis of molasses output, prices, tradeflows and review its use in a broad spectrum of applications, including fermentation and animal feed.
Quarterly Market Outlook
Monthly Market Report
February, May, August, November
Around the 5th day of each month
(information relating to the previous month)





Regular Commitments 2021 cont’d

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 a 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
December (online)
June (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 PapersMay/June and November/December, in conjunction with International Sugar Council Sessions

 

Other Activities for 2021

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: 2021

Publication
 
J
 
F
 
M
 
A
 
M
 
J
 
J
 
A
 
S
 
O
 
N
 
D
ISO Sugar Year Book 2020








·



ISO Ethanol Year Book 2020








·



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

·


·


·


·

World Sugar Balances

·


·


·


·

Statistical Bulletin
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
·
Workshop Proceedings 2021





·






Seminar Proceedings 2021











·
ISO study




·







ISO study




·







ISO study




·







ISO study










·

ISO study










·

ISO study










·

ISO Work Programme: 2022










·


 

Annex 3: Proposed Topics for ISO Studies in 2021

Project Number

Title

Objective

Explanatory Notes

Minimum Person Weeks

2021/1
Update on sugar refinery prospects in destination markets
This industry has evolved significantly in the period since our last study in 2013. An update and analysis of prospects in the 2020s will form the body of the study with the stock taking of destination refineries, particularly those in Asia and Africa, and their impact on the main trade flows of both raw and white sugar.
Returns for destination refiners are a function of both domestic and world white sugar prices, relative to the raw sugar input cost. Latest changes in the futures markets and global balances are capping the refiners’ margins.

8

2021/2
Global production and trade in Organic / specialty sugars
To analyse market opportunities for
exporters in the niche markets of developed
country importers including organic sugar as
well as specialty sugars. To develop projections of market size over the coming years.
The ISO last MECAS study on niche markets was in 2015. In the new study the secretariat plans to assess the increasing relevance of organic and specialty sugar trade.

8

2021/3
An update on Non-Tariff Policy (NTMs/NTBs) in a Global Sugar Trade Context
To survey and describe Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and Barriers (NTBs) across key
sugar markets with a view to better
understanding their impacts on world sugar
trade. To compile a database of sugar
related NTMs/NTBs.
The last ISO MECAS study was in 2015. The new study continues ISO’s investigation into how the world sugar trade may be shaped by trade policies. NTMs and NTBs to be investigated include tariff rate quotas; import quotas, licensing and import bans; export incentives; exceptional measures; sugar quality standards; and price support schemes.

8

2021/4
  • Ethanol and the motorcar industry
The use of ethanol as a fuel varies greatly amongst nations. This study aims to give a perspective from the car industry and the consumers they target
The acceptance of ethanol as a fuel is understood by consumers, yet the inclusion rate is the subject of much discussion. The resolution for this is proven technology, but the car industry does not see value in its use. Is their attention focused elsewhere, are the consumer’s demands not clear enough or is it more political?

8

2021/5
Foreign Exchange rates and their impact on the Sugar Industry
To understand how exchange rate fluctuations have impacted sugar prices quoted in national currency terms for selected exporters and importers and investigate the implications for the world sugar trade.
Exchange rate movements are important for commodity trade analysis, as oscillations in US dollar-denominated world prices can be made more or less acute by exchange rate movements. Exchange rate fluctuations also affect the competitiveness of exports, domestic parities against alternatives such as ethanol, and the balance sheet valuation and depreciation of the asset.

8

2021/6
Survey of sugar taxes and recent developments
To survey and describe current and planned sugar taxes around the globe and which sectors are being targeted in order to better understand their potential impacts on sugar consumption.

Taxes on sugar containing products have become increasingly prevalent over the years, with the bold claim of reducing obesity. The study aims to provide a better picture of where these measures are taking place around the world, what products are targeted, and what they aim to achieve.

8








[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.