Since the beginning of the new millennium, the world sugar market has seen an annual increase in sugar production by nearly 50 mln tonnes or 40% while the volume of sugar traded internationally grew by nearly 20 mln tonnes or 50%. The market also has witnessed a number of tectonic shifts in the world sugar economy. The introduction of flexible-fuel vehicles in Brazil combined with a large westbound expansion of cane growing has changed the paradigm of cane utilization for sugar. There have been other changes of similar importance including inter alia the imposition of the WTO export limits on the EU, the subsequent reform of the block’s sugar regime in 2006 and the end of national production quotas in the EU in 2017; a creation of common sweeteners market in NAFTA and robust growth of sugar output in Thailand and Russia. On the demand side, there have been an impressive growth of imports by China, which became the world’s biggest sugar importer, mushrooming destination refineries, and a widening anti-sugar campaign in many countries all over the world. This study investigates how these changes have affected the seasonal distribution of sugar production, consumption and trade on both the global and individual country level. The study covers the period since the start of the new millennium to 2017/18. It is entirely based on sugar statistics regularly collected by the ISO from more than 80 countries as well as ISO estimates for 2016/17 and 2017/18. The paper starts with a data overview. The second part is dedicated to seasonality of sugar production, where detailed analysis of world’s leading sugar producing countries are made. Among agricultural crops, sugar production has probably the broadest temporal distribution of large-scale production. The wide dispersion of sugar crop growing makes sugar production year-round in global terms. However, the different shares of individual producing countries result in clear seasonal patterns of world production. Then, the discussion moves on to seasonality in sugar consumption on both global and national levels. One of the aspects under discussion is how a growing importance of industrial users of sugar impacts consumption seasonality. In the fourth part, the issue of seasonality in sugar exports and imports are addressed. Based on the completed calculations of the seasonal indices of the main components of both individual country and world balances the ISO has prepared quarterly world sugar balances reflecting the seasonal behaviour of all the elements of the demand and supply sides and their relationship with each other, including the interdependence between the market components of individual countries and world totals. The ISO is planning the introduction of quarterly world sugar balances as a permanent feature of the QMO after some additional tests and fine tuning.
Introduction Part I. Data Overview Part II. Sugar Production Seasonality 1 General Overview 2 Country studies (Brazil, India, EU, Thailand, China, US, Mexico, Russia, Pakistan, Australia) Part III. Sugar Consumption Seasonality 1 General Overview 2 Country studies (India, EU, China, Brazil, US, Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan, Mexico, Egypt) Part IV. Trade Seasonality 1 General Overview 2 Country studies – exporters (Brazil, Thailand, Australia, India, Guatemala, UAE, Mexico, EU, Cuba) 3 Country studies – importers (China, Indonesia, EU, Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE) Part V. Quarterly World Balances Observations and Conclusions