This study is dedicated to reviewing recent fundamental developments and identifying the key drivers of the world trade in molasses and beet pulp, by- products of the sugar industry. Although molasses and beet pulp are used mostly domestically, about 7% of world output of molasses and 15% of global production of beet pulp are exported to the world market. Molasses and beet pulp have only little value as compared to sugar, but sales of molasses and beet pulp abroad help generate additional income for the sugar industry with relatively low overheads. In contrast to sugar where import markets are protected by high tariffs as well as non-tariff barriers and export volumes can be heavily regulated by governments, these restrictions are much less extensive for molasses and beet pulp trade. This is the first ISO study dedicated to analysis of the world trade of sugar industry by-products and their trade flows by origin and destination. The study is divided into two parts. The molasses part first deals with the product itself, its composition, various qualities and major outlets. Then general trends in production are analysed. We continue our analysis by examining the recent trends in exports and imports of molasses, as well as price dynamics. The beet pulp part starts with discussion of general production trends before moving on to the situation in major exporters and importers, and prices for beet pulp traded internationally.
The future supply/demand situation is full of uncertainties. On the one hand, the projected improvement in sugar production in order to meet growing global demand augurs well for higher molasses production. On the other hand, the expected growth in demand for molasses among ethanol producers is likely to absorb the production gains of some major suppliers of molasses to the world market, including India and Thailand. An approaching reform in the EU is likely to bring a considerable increase in beet sugar output, and hence, beet pulp production. Higher global export availability might put bearish pressure on prices for beet pulp assuming no considerable changes in prices for other feedstocks. In the longer run, however, continuing growth in global demand for meat and dairy products is likely to result in slowly rising demand for animal feedstuff including beet pulp.